Family recipe for Danish cookies

Recipe: Sophie's Danish Cookies
Makes about 6 dozen cookies

This is my favorite family cookie recipe, which comes from Sophie Jorgensen Holm. My mother, Tilli, would make these for Christmas. She would make the dough in advance, leaving it in the refrigerator for several days. I would sneak in and eat the raw dough. It was my favorite, cooked or raw!
-- Susie Calhoun

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, plus more for buttering the cookie sheet
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in 1/2 teaspoon water
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

In a bowl, cream together both sugars, shortening, butter, and dissolved baking soda. Stir in the eggs and mix until well blended. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the shortening mixture and mix well. Shape the dough into rolls, about 21/2 to 3 inches in diameter and about 8 inches long. Wrap in waxed paper and chill for at least 2 hours, or until firm.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350?F and butter a cookie sheet. Remove the dough from the waxed paper and cut it into 1/4-inch slices. Place on the cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until a light golden brown.

Spritz Cookies
Makes 5 dozen cookies

Granny carried on the Danish tradition of celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve by inviting friends and relatives for lunch. She served traditional foods such as her famous Danish pickles, open-face sandwiches, and spritzkage or butter cookies. This is her recipe. She used a cookie press, which is needed for these cookies. In the evening, the Holm children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren opened presents and sang discordant carols. Ione's granddaughters have carried on her tradition of making spritz cookies at Christmastime. In true Holm fashion, they make a party out of it.

Ione Teeter Holm

  • 21/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Dash salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

Preheat the oven to 375?F. Sift together the flour and baking powder. In a bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and salt. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well mixed. Add the dry ingredients, a little at a time. Put the dough in a cookie press using the 1/8-inch ridged cookie design disk and press the dough out onto cool, unbuttered cookie sheets. Bake until set but not brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cut the strips into 3-inch lengths while they are still hot.

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About Merry Calhoun Carter:
Merry Calhoun Carter is the middle daughter of "Tilli" and Wayne Calhoun. Merry and her husband Darrell are the parents of Laina and Whitney. Merry is the service manager for the help desk at a national laboratory. She is an active member of the Alameda County Cattlewomen and when she is not busy with her daughters' busy lives, she enjoys traveling, gardening, collecting cookbooks, dutch oven cooking, and entertaining in style.

About Nancy Calhoun Mueller:
Nancy Calhoun Mueller and her husband Bob live in the Livermore Hills near the Circle H Ranch. She is the youngest of Tilli and Wayne Calhoun's daughters. Nancy has found her first employment "in town" (her previous positions were at wineries) at the Bankhead Performing Arts Theater where she is the marketing manager. She was the inspiration for the Holm Family Cookbook, which stemmed from her involvement in the publishing of the Livermore Valley Wine Growers cookbook. Nancy enjoys cooking and trying different recipes, helped Ione Holm entertain for many years, and is the entertainment coordinator at her parent's "Party Barn."

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