Monday, November 17, 2014

The Story of the Mincemeat Cookies

I know that usually on Monday people expect to hear about my weekend and the various things I ate. At last I like to delude myself into thinking that. As thrilling as pictures of coffee and sushi might be, I have a story to tell today. The Story of the Mincemeat Cookies, aka A Story of Injustice.

When I was growing up, my Grandma made three types of cookies. Just three, and my mom made the rest. Grandma always had peanut butter balls, (some people call them buckeyes), hers were peanut butter, powdered sugar and rice krispies rolled in a ball and dipped in chocolate. They were my brother's favorites. She also made nut cups which are essentially tiny pecan pies. Those were my mom's favorite. I've made both of these cookies before and they are extremely time consuming and kind of a pain. I think this is why she only made a few types.

Then she made mincemeat cookies. They were a dense puffy cookie with raisins, hints of clove and cinnamon and were delicious. These were my favorite. I have very distinct memories of standing in my Grandma's kitchen eating these cookies for several years. Remember this part of the story, it's important.

A year of two after we moved here I was invited to a cookie swap held by one of the people at the church Kev works at. It's been running every year for 40 years and is a dang nice swap. You make 12 dozen cookies, each wrapped by the dozen. 13 people attend and you come home with a dozen of 12 different types of cookies. It's a crap ton of cookies and you can wrap them in individual boxes and give them away for Christmas. Everyone thinks you're an amazing baker and slaved away for hours in the kitchen.

I thought, what better to share with my new friends than one of my favorite Christmas cookies of all time? Grandma's mincemeat cookies. I was so excited at the prospect of making them again. I called my mother and asked her to find me the recipe. I couldn't wait for her to call back with the instructions.

A few days later she called and left me a message. "Hi Lara, this is your mother. I looked in my recipe box and didn't see anything, then I looked in Grandma's and it wasn't there either. I called Grandma (she's well into her 90s and sharp as a tack) and she said she never made mine meat cookies, she has no idea what you're talking about. I don't remember them either and neither does your brother, you must have imagined them. Talk you you later, bye."


There are plenty of things from my childhood that I don't remember but there are some that I have a picture of in my mind, as clear as can be, and this is one of them. I ate those cookies, at Grandma's house and it wasn't just one random year.

I've been stewing over this for years. Seriously, how does NO ONE remember these cookies? This is probably my 5th or 6th year at the cookie swap and every year they make me tell this story. Everyone gets a nice chuckle and you know what? I still don't get my cookies.

Well you know what, I'm going to find that damn recipe and make them. If I have to make every last mincemeat drop cookie on Pinterest this is going to happen. I found soy-less shortening at Whole Foods and that was the last piece of the puzzle. We're going to my parents for Thanksgiving and you know what I'm bringing? Mincemeat cookies.

Have you ever experienced a similar injustice?

Do you absolutely remember something from the past only to have others say you imagined it?

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  1. haha I have tons of memories my mum says never happened. mincemeat cookies sound interesting, we always made mince pies, they are quite popular at home. i hope everyone remembers once you've made them!

    1. I was talking with my cousin and apparently his mom (gandma's sister) made them. The plot thickens!

  2. Haha! I don't think I have ever heard of mincemeat cookies. Hopefully they come out just as good as your remember them to be.

    1. They aren't bad. I had to use soy-free shortening and the texture isn't quite the same, but it's close!

  3. I've never heard of such things...
    i remember my grandma's fruit cake cookies & i remember them being good & everyone thinks I'm drunk saying that.

  4. Not so much as an injustice but an expectation. My brother & his wife are 'Thee cookie makers' at Christmas. It has become an expectation to receive his sugar cookie 'scraps'. Why? Broken iced sugar cookies? Legs fell off? Missing Santa limbs? Reindeer without 1/2 a body? Well....because one year he privately gave me these cast offs and what did he do? DECORATE THEM!! Missing limbs dipped in red with shiny sugar red sprinkles. A deer head with the same red icing and *bleeding* shiny sprinkles. The best part? All the faces matched! The OMG look of Santa 'saying' WTF??? I must find a picture. My brother knows I appreciate his sense of humor and frankly that first year he did it was a personal difficult one. His cookies made my christmas!!!