The Family of Rosa Anna Abbott and John Joseph LaValle

Mother's Butter Milk Cookies

Handed down to Susan Donley from Rose Abbott LaValle Donley. This recipe was also used by Kate, Lena, Charlotte, and Margie.

Rose's grandkids think of them as "Grandma's Buttermilk Cookies" and say that Rose made these every time they went to visit. She would give them one of "Mother's Buttermilk Cookies" out of the cookie jar on the counter, no matter how close it was to dinner.

Apparently those cookies made a big impression on all of Rose's siblings, too. Howard's daughter, Margie, says that her father always told her about that long, and sometimes cold walk home from school. And how delighted he was when there was a big dishpan of buttermilk cookies waiting on the table. He would help himself to a few before going out to do his farm chores. And Shirley, daughter of Lena Abbott Jefferys, remembers them from her childhood -- and can't wait to get the recipe. Shirley said that Charlotte has kept the recipe, also.

Rose's Recipe Book
Elizabeth Jacob Abbott's Buttermilk Cookies, written in Rose's handwriting.

Step 1: Cream together in mixing bowl, till light and fluffy.

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Crisco or lard

Step 2: Add to creamed mixture

1 egg, beaten [see note below]

Step 3: Combine

1/2 tsp. Baking soda with 1/2-cup buttermilk;

Step 4: Sift together [see note below]

1 tsp. baking powder
About 2-1/2 cups flour, or enough to make a stiff dough

Stir into mixture in mixing bowl, alternately with the buttermilk, mixing well.

NOTE: While Rose didn't write down vanilla and salt, I'm pretty sure she just figured she would remember that. I would add:

1 tsp. Vanilla along with the egg, and
1/2 tsp. Salt, sifting with the flour and baking powder.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2-inches apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees, or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: about 18 cookies.