Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Who was Sally Ann?

My mother wrote the recipe for Sally Ann's on the end flap of her favorite cookbook. Nothing about this cookie is fancy, but for my sister and me nothing beats a Sally Ann and a cup of tea or coffee at Christmas.

Marilyn sent an email last week reminding me to make Sally Ann's. (As if I needed a reminder.) Yesterday I prepared the dough and baked them this morning.

Mom never spoke of a Sally Ann, and no one in the extended family is even named Sally. Several years ago I asked my Uncle Oscar if he remembered his mother making Sally Ann's. He smiled and said that he did, so obviously the recipe is very old.

Oddly, even though they contain two cups of sugar, the cookies are not overly sweet.

Sally Ann's
yield about 4 dozen cookies

3/4 c. butter or margarine, softened
1/2 c. shortening
1 c. brown sugar, packed firmly
1 c. white sugar
4 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. soda
3 beaten eggs
1 or 1 1/2 c. walnut halves

Cream softened butter/margarine. shortening, and sugars. Add eggs. Stir in all dry ingredients a little at a time. Dough will be stiff. I always use my hands when it gets to this stage. Add walnuts (I put 1 1/2 c. in the cookies I make) and work evenly into the dough.

Form dough into two rolls/logs about 2 or 2 1/2 inches thick. Roll the logs in waxed paper and place in refrigerator overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the wax paper and slice the dough in 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch sections. (I prefer the thicker slices). The dough slices easier if it is firm, so do not allow the logs to set on the counter too long before slicing.

Place the slices on a cookie sheet and and leave space for the cookies to expand. Lightly sprinkle sugar (white or colored) on the tops. Bake 8 - 10 minutes. I don't like them very dark or hard, so I take mine out after 8 minutes.

On a side note: if you like tea, try Good Earth's Sweet & Spicy. It tastes a bit like good ole' Southern Sweet Tea without the added sugar. It complements the Sally Ann's perfectly.


  1. That is my favorite tea. I get it at my local Ace Hardware.

  2. thanks for the recipe. sounds great. merry christmas!


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