These were hands down my dad’s favorite cookie when he was a kid, and if you ever try them, it’s not hard to understand why.
There’s not much I can really say about this recipe, except you just gotta try it – so let’s get right to it, shall we?
How to make it
Like any cookie recipe, the first step is to combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl, and all the “wet” ingredients in another – then go ahead and mix ’em all together and start baking!
So, to recap:
Combine the sugar, shortening, egg, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Stir until it’s a smooth, creamy consistency.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir it a few times to help spread around the baking soda, then add the dry ingredients and the chopped walnuts into the bowl with the sugar and shortening mix.
Stir everything until it’s well combined, then either spread it all out on one small baking sheet, or (if you’re lucky enough to have a cast iron gem pan or a similar cookie mold), spoon the dough into individual molds and then put it in the oven.
Make sure to lightly grease the pan or the cookie mold before you put the dough in. This will make it easier to get it out when you’re done baking.
You want to bake these until the edges just start to turn golden brown, and cracks appear along the surface. Then remove it from the oven and let it finish baking in the pan as it slowly cools down. If you get this right, the bottom of each cookie will be soft and chewy and just about the most incredible dessert you’ve ever had…
Why I like this recipe
Mostly, I love this recipe because it came from my grandmother. My dad, his kids, and their kids, have all enjoyed these cookies at various times in our lives, and they never, ever, last for very long.
What I particularly like about this version of the recipe is that you can make a small amount, so that 3 or 4 people can each have just enough to really love these cookies… without eating so much that you wind up regretting it later when you get that massive sugar crash.
And once you get the baking right, and get that soft, chewy bottom, it’s easy to make an amazing cookie that will wow your family and friends, and will satisfy even the most selfish sweet tooth among us.
So go ahead and make these cookies tonight, and then come back tomorrow and let me know how you like it.
Great Grandma Glenn’s Glorious Golden Bars
- mixing bowls
- Wooden spoon
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- baking sheet or cast iron gem pan
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup Crisco or vegetable shortening
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup flower
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup walnuts chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Combine sugar, shortening, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl. Mix until smooth and creamy.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Add walnuts and dry ingredients to the bowl with the sugar and shortening; mix until well combined.
- Lightly grease a small baking pan; spread the dough evenly across the pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the top starts to crack.
- Remove from oven and let sit about 5-10 minutes. Cut into squares and carefully remove from the pan onto a wire rack or serving plate.
Cast Iron Gem Pan
- Lightly grease the gem pan, then spoon dough into each mold. (I use about 1.5 to 2 Tablespoons of dough per individual mold, and it works pretty well, but some trial and error will be required on your part.)
- Bake about 14 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the tops of each cookie have started to crack.
- Remove from oven and let sit about 5-10 minutes. Carefully remove from the pan and serve warm, or transfer to a wire rack or serving plate.