My Grandma Mary grew up in an orphanage and didn't learn to cook until she got married. My grandfather's mother, Catherine taught her how to cook a dozen or so recipes that my grandmother pretty much stuck to her entire life. Fortunately they were all delicious.
Because of her Northern Plains training, she made cakes from scratch, but her baking started and stopped there. Except for Ranger Cookies, which she made for my Uncle Larry because they were his favorite.
She also never wrote down recipes. Everything was in her head. When I wanted a recipe, she’d tell me what she did and I’d write it down. My recipe writing skills weren’t so developed then so when I pulled out this recipe it was just a list of ingredients and the oven temperature. Ironically, this and pumpkin pie are the only baking recipes I have from my grandmother, neither of which do I think she ever made for me. When I baked the first batch though, I understood why my uncle loved these so much. Although, I think she must have added this recipe to her repertoire long after her lessons with Catherine. —Lori Lyn Narlock
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Mix the butter and sugars together an electric mixing bowl until light and fluffy. With the motor running on medium-low, add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides, mix on medium-low until thoroughly mixed.
Drop the dough by spoonful onto the baking sheets and bake 10 to 12 minutes. The color will remain pale and is not an indication of doneness. The cookies may also seem a little loose when first removed from the oven. That’s okay. Do not bake any longer or the cookies will become hard and dry.