I live almost on the other side of the country from my extended family so I don't get to see them very often. However, in the last month I was able to visit twice: once for my grandmother's 80th birthday and then again for my younger sister's university graduation.
Every single one of my family members from my dad's side was able to make it to the 80th birthday party which was awesome because not only is it difficult to get everyone into the same city at the same time, but also because I hadn't seen some my family since I was very little.
We all wanted to be there because my grandmother has done a lot for us over the years. She puts a lot of importance on reading, education, manners, and physical activity (at 80 years old she still plays golf, often without taking a golf cart).
Gran is a certified accountant (CA) and knows a lot about the stock market and investing. When I was very little I received some stocks from her as a gift that I still have today. Not exactly a traditional gift for a child but one that I always thought was cool and at this point is more valuable than a toy or game.
She started a family tradition when she took my oldest cousin Aaron (pictured here) to Israel on a trip to learn about the culture. After that, she took each one of my cousins on a trip with her when we turned 13 to a different part of the world.
I have a lot of cousins so Gran was busy traveling for many years and at this point there are only a few countries that she hasn't been to. When I was 13 I went to China, Japan, and South Korea with her and during that trip I gained an interest Asian culture and food which I still have today (especially the food part.. omgyum).
Although I'm more likely to learn about banking than baking from Gran she still has some recipes that she makes when guests and grandchildren come over (even non-bakers have a delicious go-to recipe or two that they rely on). One of them is for thin crispy butterscotch cookies from a recipe that she received in 1953 from a friend.
When I was making them for myself at home I tried to squish them down as flat as possible with a fork before baking because my grandmother's are very thin. The first couple of trays were not thin enough and I hadn't baked them long enough for them to be as crispy as hers.
The next couple of trays I managed to get it right though. Squished them extra flat and baked them an extra minute or two and I was rewarded with lightly sweet, crunchy cookies that have a distinct butterscotch flavor.
makes 3 doz.
3/4 cup butter at room temp.
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
preheat oven to 350
1. Cream the butter and sugar till fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until well combined
2. Stir together the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Then stir into the butter mixture until smooth and well combined.
3. On a greased cookie sheet or one lined with parchment paper take small rounded teaspoons of the dough and place them two inches apart (I used an actual teaspoon measure for this part). Dip a fork in warm water and use that to squish down the cookies.
4. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes (all of my trays that were successful took the entire ten minutes). Let cool on wire racks.
These keep very well at room temp or in the freezer and taste better on the second day.