Who is "Aunt Emma?"

She was an aunt of mine, many generations back, on my mom's side.  Like the recipe says: "very old." And, I wrote that a few (OK...many) years back.

In chatting with my mom, she says the recipe goes back to at least the 1880s.

Although they are "Christmas Cookies," these "brown cookies" are a family favorite all year round.

And, they're easy...but one step is time-consuming, as you will see.

Follow along from my "kid" cook book. (Craig Allen photo).
Follow along from my "kid" cookbook. (Craig Allen photo)
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Let's get started:

Sugars, eggs, butter, soda and cinnamon. (Craig Allen photo).
Sugars, eggs, butter, soda, and cinnamon. (Craig Allen photo)
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Cream sugars, eggs, butter (I used 1&1/2 C melted butter, versus butter and "spry," as I haven't used spry in years), baking soda, and cinnamon.

A blur of speed. (Craig Allen photo).
A blur of speed. (Craig Allen photo)
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I added 2 C flour...

Rather than buying pre-sliced almonds...

A chopper saves time. (Craig Allen photo).
A chopper saves time. (Craig Allen photo)
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...I put 1/4 C whole almonds in my chopper, and semi-coarsely chopped them.

I added the almonds...then the other 2&1/2 C flour.

Cookie batter is thick. (Craig Allen photo).
Cookie batter is thick. (Craig Allen photo)
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The batter is thick.

I divided the batter in half.

Line a bread pan with plastic wrap, or wax paper.

Press batter into pan. (Craig Allen photo).
Press batter into pan. (Craig Allen photo)
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Press the batter in the bottom of the lined bread pan.

Wrapped and ready for the next step. (Craig Allen photo).
Wrapped and ready for the next step. (Craig Allen photo)
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Remove from the bread pan, and completely wrap the dough.

Here's the time-consuming part:

Into the..."deep freeze." (Craig Allen photo).
Into the..."deep freeze." (Craig Allen photo)
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The wrapped cookie dough goes into the freezer for one day (overnight).

(Time management HINT: make the dough NOW, put it in the freezer...and bake it on Christmas Eve, or Christmas morning)

(Otherwise) Tomorrow:

Slice the frozen cookie dough. (Craig Allen photo).
Slice the frozen cookie dough. (Craig Allen photo)
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Unwrap, and slice into "cookies."

Ready for some "lovin' from the oven." (Craig Allen photo).
Sliced and ready for some "lovin' from the oven." (Craig Allen photo)
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Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet, at 375, for 8-10 minutes.

Fresh and warm, yummy, cookies. (Craig Allen photo).
Fresh and warm, yummy, cookies. (Craig Allen photo)
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Once you take the tray from the oven, let the cookies sit a minute or two before removing them from the tray.

When warm, these cookies are very fragile...so wait, before removing them to a wire rack to let them cool completely.

If you let them cool completely on the cookie tray, they'll stick to the tray, and be harder to remove without breaking.

How many cookies do you get? Anywhere from 45-50...depending on how thick you slice them.

Aunt Emma's cookies and milk..."perfect together ." Great with coffee, too. (Craig Allen photo).
Aunt Emma's cookies and milk..."perfect together ." Great with coffee, too. (Craig Allen photo).
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Aunt Emma's (WONDERFUL) Brown Cookies are not only a favorite but one of the first recipes I copied (above), as a kid, from my mother's recipe book...at Christmas.

When mom decided that I was old enough to start learning to cook (and bake), she gave me a loose-leaf binder (wrapped and under the tree), with these words:

Thanks, mom. (Craig Allen photo).
Thanks, mom. (Craig Allen photo).
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Thanks, mom, for my love of cooking.

Thanks, Aunt Emma for the cookies...which now go...viral.

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