a family tradition

Tradition! (>insert song from Fiddler on the Roof<)  I never really grew up with a lot of deep running family tradition and never thought much about it. We have Grandma’s Orange Stuff at holiday gatherings and Dad had that hideous Santa hat he wore while doling out gifts on Christmas morning (or actually at 11am after cleaning the house, eating breakfast and waiting for everyone else to do the same—-which was excruciating through my younger years, lol). All these were things we had invented over the years but none were by any means deeply rooted. Since marrying my husband, it’s been a lot of fun learning all about his family’s German roots–when his Oma was young her German family helped Jews in the underground railroad. There are traditions like hiding the pickle in the tree where whoever find’s it first on Christmas Eve gets an extra present (yes, I heard about that and had to buy a pickle ornament!) and there’s the bird ornament in the tree for good luck. And every year my husband is most excited to make his very favorite—potato cookies. Something his Grandma makes every year, it’s a combination of nostalgia and just plain good cookie that keep us cranking out dozen after dozen of these babies around the holidays. They taste like sugar cookies but better somehow—the way potatoes pretty much make everything better. Don’t worry, these aren’t savory cookies—-they are anything but. They have a soft middle with crispy edges, with a crunchy sprinkling of sugar on top. This recipe makes a ton, so eat them all or share if you can bear it. And know that you are partaking in a bit of deep rooted holiday family tradition.

Oma’s potato cookies

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup potato flakes
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup unsalted butter, softnened
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg
¼ tsp salt
  • Preheat overn to 375º
  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, potato flakes, coconut, and salt until well combined.
  • Cream butter, both sugars, and vanilla in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat until well combined.
  • Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture, mixing until just combined.
  • Shape into 1″ balls and place on cookie sheet, spacing 2 inches apart.
  • Using the flat bottom of a glass, dip the glass into a bowl of granulated sugar and then press each cookie until flattened to about 1/2″ thick.  Cookies will spread as they cook, so make sure to leave them some room to grow.
  • Bake 6-8 minutes until they are a light golden brown. Enjoy!

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