Grandma Reimer used to make these Easter cookies every year and although they’re not the sweetest or most visually stunning (though few of her recipes are anyway, lol), they were always a great treat at Easter. Grandma gave me the original recipe at my request about 17 years ago. She was getting on in years and wasn’t as active in the kitchen as she used to be, so I wanted to carry on the tradition for her. After all, this was a dearly treasured recipe that my family brought over with them from Russia when Mennonites immigrated Canada in the early 1900′s … SOMEONE needed to continue making the cookies, and it might as well be me. I tried to find Grandma’s original copy, but haven’t been successful. At least I have it written in my own book of favorite recipes.
The first time I made these cookies, I merely skimmed over the recipe before starting and thought a HUGE Tupperware bowl would be more than big enough. Had I taken the time to look at the recipe closely, I would have saw it called for 4 cups cream, 20 eggs and 22 cups flour. I ended up with just the liquid ingredients filling my extremely large bowl right to the brim. Thankfully, we had an extra bowl that same size and so I was able to pour half the liquid in there and the cookies were saved. But you can imagine just how many we ended up with. After that, I cut the recipe down by 3/4 and it still gives more than enough for my family to enjoy.
The cookie cutter I use is my grandmother’s that she used every year for this recipe. It’s the only one of her antique cookie cutters that I managed to snag when she moved out of her apartment, and so is very special to me. It’s become a way I can truly connect with her every Easter.
Yield: 6 dozen cookies
- 3/4 cup softened butter
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream (I used 18% because I couldn’t justify using butter AND whipping cream)
- 5 eggs (I used large eggs)
- 3 Tbsp pure lemon extract (NOT juice – you can find this in the grocery store by the Vanilla extract)
- 5 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cup baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg
Preheat oven to 350°.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together.
Slowly beat in cream and lemon extract.
Beat in 5 eggs, one at a time.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl and stir with a sturdy spoon until well combined. Dough will be quite soft – almost like a drop cookie.
Roll out dough on a well floured surface and cut out in round (or any other shape you like) cookie cutter and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Beat egg (yolk and white) in a small bowl and brush egg wash over cookies.
Bake cookies for 11 minutes or until just barely turning brown on bottom of cookie. Be sure not to over bake.