Nanny’s Flying Saucer Cookies

flying saucersWhen I was growing up, Christmas meant a baking frenzy.  My Dad liked to bake, so the two of us would whip up all sorts of cookies and turn our little galley kitchen into a yummy smelling, albeit, flour dusted work space, which inevitably my mom would get stuck cleaning (sorry mom!)

These flying saucer cookies were my Grandmother’s recipe on my father’s side, and a staple of our holiday baking every year.  I don’t think I was allowed to have the recipe until I was in my early twenties, despite my best efforts at trying to get my hands on it earlier.  These were also the cookies we left out for Santa on Christmas eve, with a tall glass of milk and a carrot for Rudolf.

These are soft cookies with a cake like texture and generous size.  If linzer and thumbprint cookies hooked up and had a chubby cookie baby, I imagine this would be it.  These have a simple yet enjoyable taste.  Comfort food in a cookie.

I’m not normally a fan of apple jelly, but it really works here.  If you don’t have apple, any berry jelly will work.

2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
½ pound shortening
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 1/2 to 5 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
½ tsp nutmeg
1 cup evaporated milk

flying saucers 011. Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.  Set aside.
2. Cream together sugar and shortening until fluffy.  Beat in eggs one at a time, add vanilla.
3. Alternate adding the evaporated milk and flour mixture to the shortening mixture, a third at a time mixing until a soft dough forms.  I find I need the full 5 cups of flour.  Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the dough and chill for 1 hour.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut out 3 inch rounds.  Cut 1 inch holes out of half of the rounds and place one on each full round.  If you don’t have a 1 inch cutter, a standard shot glass will give you about the right size.
5. Seal the seams around the inside and outside edges by pushing with your fingers.
6. Place a scant teaspoon of apple jelly into the middle of each cookie.
7. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet and bake for ??? in a preheated 350F oven.  Transfer to cooling rack.  

Store in an airtight container.  Theses cookies also freeze very well.

flying saucers 02You may be thinking, ‘why do two layers?  why not just do it like a thumbprint cookie?’  I’ll tell you why.

First, it’s not how my Nanny did it.  Second, I LOVE taking the layers apart when eating them!  I try to get the top layer off in on piece without breaking it lol.  My father makes them in a single layer these days and although they are still super tasty, to me they simply aren’t the same.  It’s just tradition.

Do you have a special cookie recipe for Santa in your home?