Eva Longoria‘s story about making these cookies as a little girl for her teacher and spending her allowance on cookie cutters so she could bake them charmed me into attempting them myself. She did warn that they are delicate and do not hold up very and boy, was she right.
I made half the recipe but I will share it the way that it appears in the cookbook. Mix together 2 1/2 cups flour and 1 tsp ground cinnamon.
Cream together 1 cup of shortening and 1/4 cup of sugar for two minutes.
Add 2 tbsp of water and beat until thoroughly combined.
Add the flour and cinnamon mixture. Blend completely. It was so dry, I added additional water.
I manage to turn them into two disks and chill them in the fridge.
And then, they fell apart. I mean SHATTERED! One little touch from the rolling pin and they turned to dust. I put them in a food processor and added more water until they really came together. Chilled and tried again.
You are supposed to roll the dough between sheets of wax paper but I did not need to. I could do roll it just fine at this point.
The problem I had was with the directions. The recipe says to use 1 1/2″ or smaller cookie cutters which was fine but it did not say how thick to roll out the dough. I scanned the three introductory paragraphs and at the very end saw the text “3/8 inch” so that is how I rolled them out. It wasn’t until after putting them in the oven I read that Eva rolls them very thin like her Aunt Elsa. Darn it! Why was that not in the directions???!!!
I baked them in a preheated 300F oven for 15 minutes since mine were quite thick. Bake for 10-12 minutes if you roll them out thinner.
Also, I just don’t understand how the photo in the cookbook looks like this. The cookies are all golden brown but that is not possible when you use shortening. And my cookies, as you see above, came out a brownish grey because of the cinnamon.
My cookies looked, quite honestly, unattractive and not super appealing so I rolled them in icing sugar and used my fingers to massage the powdered sugar all over the cookie instead of tossing them in sugar with some cinnamon.
How did they taste? OK. A little bland. I think a pinch of salt would have helped bring out the cinnamon flavour much more. The texture was crumbly and lovely that way. I think nostalgia is a big part of the appeal of these cookies but I have a feeling if they were made with butter and a little salt they would have ended up being tastier and prettier, just like the photograph.
I don’t recommend doing the icing sugar technique at this time of year. It actually got warm and humid so these cookies kind of melted and got fuzzy. Ugh!
I feel like with a lot of “simple” recipes I missed something here. I wish there were more instructions within the directions and that the photo truly represented the end result. Because I have no idea what went wrong and the cookie was fine, I can not really rate this recipe. It remains an enigma which is more annoying than interesting. I will say Reg liked them and gave them 7-8/10 when it comes to flavour alone.