Buttery, sweet and a little chewy – this Amish recipe has everything you want in a sugar cookie | arts and culture

Two weekends ago, my son, daughter-in-law, grandson, and I hopped on a very small — at least in my opinion — commuter plane to Columbus, Ohio, for a family wedding. We could have flown to Pittsburgh just as easily as the wedding venue was somewhere halfway between the two cities. But, as my son, David, who booked the flights explained, “I never saw Columbus.” To be honest, he still hasn’t. We only saw the airport.

Community cookbooks are full of useful and sometimes weird cooking tips

I would like to say that the flights were uneventful. Unfortunately, my grandson, who is almost 11 months old, had a problem with the pressure and his ears, and let the other 77 people on the flight home know how much it hurt, screaming for 89 minutes of the 99 minute flight. Yes, he fell asleep 10 minutes before landing in Boston. As her exhausted father said upon landing, “We won’t be doing this again anytime soon.”

The wedding itself was in the beautiful Amish area of ​​Ohio. We stayed in a farmhouse dating back to 1852, located on what was then a working farm, sharing it with my nephew, Paul, and his family. As we drove from their home to the Airbnb, David noticed that he felt like he was in a scene from the 1990s movie, “Twister”, due to the miles of cultivated fields and the flatness of the ground. “Where are they hiding it?” he joked as we passed a sign that said we were near Mount Gideon.

Unlike the Pennsylvania Netherlands, the Ohio Amish region—or at least the area we stayed in—seems to have escaped the commercialism so prevalent in Pennsylvania. (I actively searched for a gift shop to pick up a few t-shirts, to no avail.) Fields were worked by farmers using horse-drawn plows, and Amish buggies ruled the small two-lane country roads. Amish children rode scooters and bicycles, or walked the shoulders of the road. Windmills stood next to Amish farms, providing power to generators. Cows and horses grazed in some fields. It’s a little piece of paradise.

It was a great weekend, the wedding was wonderful and spending time with our family – sitting on the farmhouse patio or playing Farkle around a table big enough for all 11 of us – was priceless . It was plain and simple, just the surrounding Amish community.

And speaking of pure and simple, I picked up an Amish sugar cookie recipe decades ago on a trip to Penn Dutch Country. I think it was from a motel we stayed at and I managed to convince the owner, who was truly a Mennonite, to share it. The cookies are everything I want in a sugar cookie – soft, a little chewy and buttery.



1 cup butter, softened

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup of sugar

1 cup icing sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar


In a large bowl, beat the butter, oil and sugars. Beat eggs until well blended. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and cream of tartar; gradually add to creamed mixture.

Drop by small teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 F until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.

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