Great Grandmother's "Oil Cookies"

Hi F52 community,
I'm in the midst of creating a cookbook from family recipes. One beloved recipe that my Dad and Aunts gush about is my great Grandmother's Oil cookies. They say the cookies resemble shortbread but are lighter due to the oil. They are formed into a coil shape (or she would make their initials!)

However, when I've made them the dough is really difficult to form (breaks easily when you roll it) and the resulting cookie has a lumpy surface. They are light, but not very flavorful. I suspect crisco has changed over the years, but not sure that's the whole problem.

Before I go crazy testing every variation on this... has anyone come across a cookie recipe like this, or have any suggestions on crisco/oil/etc.?

4 cups flour
¾ cups sugar
3 Tbsp baking powder
½ cup oil
½ cup crisco
2 eggs
½ cup orange juice
cinnamon sugar

Put flour, sugar, and baking powder in mixing bowl. Make hole in the middle and add beaten egg, mix to combine. Add oil, crisco, and orange juice and combine. Roll dough into rope, then dip in cinnamon sugar and roll into coil. Bake at 350 until brown for 30 minutes.

margo sivin


Maedl January 25, 2016
Where was the family from and when was the great grandmother making these cookies? Early 1900s? Knowing more about the time and origin might help in choosing the ingredients.
cookbookchick January 25, 2016
They are rather similar to the Greek Christmas cookies called Melomakarona, which are also oil cookies flavored with orange juice. You will find many recipes online with which to compare your family recipe. I can provide you with my family's Melomakarona recipe, if you'd like.
margo S. January 25, 2016
Great tip! I'm guessing no one used Crisco in Greece? I'll try all oil. Thank you!
cookbookchick January 25, 2016
Ha! Yes, no Crisco in any Greek recipes I know of!
C S. January 24, 2016
I don't know of a recipe like this but here are a couple of observations. If you are using a neutral oil and crisco neither of those will add any flavor - so the oj and cinnamon sugar are the only flavoring agents here. I use butter in some old family recipes that called for unspecified shortening or bacon fat. You could try that. The other observation is that childhood memories are created by more than flavor - its the time and place, our youth, the people who cooked for us - as well as perhaps the treat of a sweet food when that was scarce. If your grandmother made a cookie shaped into your initials what is not to like you were the center of attention being loved and cared for.
margo S. January 24, 2016
Thanks C! Good note and great observation on memories. :)
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