Aunt Ivene’s Drop Sugar Cookies…with a Nutella Twist

My Great-Aunt Ivene was one of a kind.  She was born in 1914 and lived for 94 beautiful years.  She grew up cooking, working on the family farm, later working at the bank and probably her truest calling…taking care of the family because she had no children of her own.

Aunt Ivene Hammond

Aunt Ivene & Foster Hammond, 1944

You see, Aunt Ivene married the love of her life, Foster Hammond.  Foster was killed in the war in 1944.  And she never remarried.  She always told me about why she didn’t remarry…”It wasn’t Foster”…she would say.  So she took it upon herself to take care of us.  ALL of us.  The rest of her long & beautiful life.

As a child, I used to spend nearly every Friday night with Aunt Ivene.  We would watch Dallas, play Chinese Checkers and OF COURSE…we would cook. I credit her with first showing me around the kitchen! Green Beans, Mac & Cheese, Pies, Cakes & her famous Sugar Cookies!  She made those for everyone!  And she would deliver them in an empty cracker box, an old Maxwell House Coffee can or those old Planters Cheese Ball Tins. Still such vivid memories I have of those special times and those cookies!!

I’ve been thinking a lot about Aunt Ivene lately and I decided to make a few batches of those cookies and deliver them to some friends like she did.  And then I decided I wanted to make some with Nutella.  I love Nutella.  And I could probably eat it by the spoonful (notice I said probably…doesn’t mean that I’ve actually DONE that…ummm, no…never).  And if you don’t know what Nutella is…just click on the link.  And then drop everything and race to the grocery store.

Here is all you need because these are very, very quick & easy.

Ingredients for Old Fashioned Drop Sugar Cookies with Nutella

Ingredients for Old Fashioned Drop Sugar Cookies with Nutella

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  You will need a couple of baking sheets for these because this recipe makes A LOT.  To start, beat your eggs with a mixer until they are frothy. Then mix in the oil & vanilla. Next mix in your Nutella & Cocoa. Mix in your sugar, and then finally your White Lily flour. Mix these just like I’ve described so the ingredients get incorporated evenly. This will only take a couple of minutes. Take your ungreased baking sheet and start dropping a “dollop” of the cookie dough onto the sheet with a teaspoon. Don’t crowd your pan because these will spread out. But don’t worry about making them perfect either! Just see mine…not perfect. Not even close.

Drop Sugar Cookie Batter

Drop Sugar Cookie Batter with no Nutella

And here are some with the Nutella batter.

Drop Sugar Cookies with Nutella Batter

Drop Sugar Cookies with Nutella Batter

You will have to watch these closely depending on how big you made your “dollops”. Mine baked for about 10 minutes. Just until I could tell the bottom was slightly brown. They cook fast, so don’t burn them!
Once they are done, take them out of the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet so they have time to rest. Once they are cool..then grab a glass of milk and DIG IN. Try to resist from eating all of them at once. Just do what Aunt Ivene did…grab you a tin can, or an empty cracker box and share with your friends & family to put a smile on their face! Or eat them…your choice. 😉

Drop Sugar Cookies with Nutella

Old Fashioned Drop Sugar Cookies…and some with Nutella

Aunt Ivene's Drop Sugar Cookies

  • Servings: 5-6 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Credit: Ivene Hammond & Molly Howard

2 Eggs Beaten
1 ½ tsp Vanilla
1 c. Vegetable Oil
1 c. Granulated Sugar
2 c. Self Rising Flour

1. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.  
2. Beat eggs with electric mixer. Add in oil & vanilla.
3. Add in sugar and mix until thick & creamy.
4. Finally mix in flour & incorporate without over mixing.
5. Drop the batter onto the ungreased baking sheet using a teaspoon & careful not to over crowd the pans.
6. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to watch this close so that you don’t burn the bottoms.

Aunt Ivene's Drop Sugar Cookies with Nutella

  • Servings: 5-6 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Credit: Ivene Hammond & Molly Howard

2 Eggs Beaten
1 ½ tsp Vanilla
1 c. Vegetable Oil
2 tbsp Nutella
2 tbsp Hershey’s Cocoa
1 c. Granulated Sugar
2 c. Self Rising Flour

1. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.  
2. Beat eggs with electric mixer. Add in oil & vanilla.
3. Mix in the Nutella & Cocoa.
4. Add in sugar and mix until thick & creamy.
5. Finally mix in flour & incorporate without over mixing.
6. Drop the batter onto the ungreased baking sheet using a teaspoon & careful not to over crowd the pans.
7. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to watch this close so that you don’t burn the bottoms.

Updated…But Still Old-Fashioned…Strawberry Pie

Springtime weather is FINALLY just around the corner!  Thankfully!  And during the winter of 2014, the South has certainly experienced some very bi-polar weather!!  74 degrees one day…24 degrees the next.  Rain & thunder showers…followed up with 3 inches of snow & ice!!!  So tiring. So long.  So…OVER.

When I went to the grocery store this week and saw some Florida Strawberries staring back at me with their deep, beautiful red color & fruity, sweet smell…I knew Spring was finally upon us!!  And Spring for me always starts with strawberries!  I then decided that I’m going to celebrate this Spring arrival! And no better way to celebrate than with an updated, old-fashioned strawberry pie!  YES!

Updated, Old Fashion Strawberry Pie

Updated, Old Fashion Strawberry Pie

For those that didn’t already know, I come from really long line of family that are really, really good southern cooks.  In fact…they even have a cookbook of just a FEW of their recipes!  It’s one of the things I cherish more than anything!  So, the homemade pie crust I use and file away into the recipe category of  “don’t fix what isn’t broken”, is one from my Great Aunt Inez.  She was born in the early 1900’s and lived to be in her 90’s.  I’d say that gives her enough experience in cooking pies!  And this one proves it.

Owens Family Cookbook--Lexington, AL

Owens Family Cookbook–Lexington, AL

Now…to get started.  The first thing I do is get that crust formed!  The ONLY thing I do different than Aunt Inez is make sure every single ingredient to be used in the crust is very cold!  Including the bowl!  So refrigerate everything for about an hour before you get started.   First you will need to cut the Crisco shortening & salt into the flour (I use White Lily, of course).  You can either use your fingertips, a pastry cutter or 2 knives.  Whatever will work best to get the mixture looking like pea-size pieces.  Don’t over work this dough because you don’t want the shortening to melt!  Next whisk together the egg, vinegar & cold water.  Gradually add this mixture to the flour until it is incorporated.  When the dough looks all mixed and can be formed into a ball…it’s ready!  Here you will want to divide the dough into 3, 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch discs.  Wrap them up in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.

Sorry no pics of the dough mixture…my hands were covered in flour & shortening.  **Note to self…buy a pastry cutter.  Soon.  Like yesterday.***And another note…if you don’t want to make a homemade crust…you can easily buy one already made.  Not the frozen ones.  In fact, just buy a Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust.  Because they are the best.

Pastry dough is getting wrapped up for the fridge

Pastry dough is getting wrapped up for the fridge

While that dough is refrigerating…get your strawberries cut and mixed with the other ingredients.  Cut them in halves or quarters depending on how big they are.  Then mix well– the cornstarch, sugar, orange zest, orange juice, vanilla, nutmeg & water. Let this refrigerate for at least 30 minutes up to overnight.  This will let the the natural juices from the berries come out.

Can't you just smell the sweetness of this filling?  If you can't...guess you'll have to make the pie.

I Love Strawberry Pie Filling.  Love. It.

Once everything has chilled, you will need to roll out 2 of the pastry discs and preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  On a really well-floured surface, you’ll want to roll the bottom out to about an 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick to fit the bottom and sides of your pie dish.  So about 11 or 12 inches around for a 9 inch pie.  For the top, you will want to roll out the same size and then cut the dough into 1 inch strips using a pizza cutter.  This will be used for the lattice crust.  The way I learned to do lattice crust was online.  Seriously.  And it was from Simply Recipes.  I’ve been following their blog for a long time! Make sure to click on the link to the Simply Recipes site where I saw the easiest way to weave the crust.  Kudos, Simply Recipes…Kudos!

Lay the bottom crust into the pie dish, spoon in the strawberry mixture, then finish with the lattice top.  Brush the strips with heavy cream and sprinkle with a little bit of sugar.

Why can't their be smell-a-vision?

Why can’t there be smell-a-vision?

You will bake this little beauty for about an hour or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly!

Updated, Old Fashion Strawberry Pie

Updated, Old Fashion Strawberry Pie

Once this has cooled somewhat,  just slice it up and top with orange whipped cream & a sprig of mint!  Or just plain whipped cream and no mint.  Or top it with nothing and just dig in!  Your choice!

Updated, Old Fashion Strawberry Pie

Just look at that beauty!  Topped with orange flavored whipped cream!

This is really an easy recipe to keep, adjust and make your own!  Let me know how yours turns out!  Enjoy!

Updated, Old-Fashioned Strawberry Pie

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Adapted from Saveur Magazine, Inez White & Simple Southern Living

Pie Crust

3 c. All Purpose Flour
1 c. Crisco Shortening
1 ½ tsp Salt
1 Beaten Egg
1 tbsp Vinegar
½ c. Cold Water

1. Put all of the ingredients into the refrigerator (including the bowl) for at least 30 minutes to chill.
2. Once cold, cut the salt & shortening into the flour using a pastry cutter or your fingertips until the mixture resembles pea-like pieces.
3. Mix together the egg, vinegar and water. Gradually add the mixture into the flour. Mix together well until dough can be formed easily into a ball.
4. Divide dough into 3 even pieces. Roll out into a disc about ½ inch thick.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. Freeze any unused dough.

Strawberry Pie

3 lbs Sliced Fresh Strawberries
½ c. Cornstarch
¾ c. Sugar
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
3 tbsp Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
1 tbsp Orange Zest
2 tbsp Water
Heavy Cream for Brushing Lattice Top

1. Slice the Strawberries in halves or quarters. Mix well with the next 7 ingredients and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes up to overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
3. Take 2 of the refrigerated pie dough and place on a well-floured surface. Roll each out to 1/8 -1/4 inch thickness until it will cover the bottom & side of the pie dish. About 11-12 inches for a 9 inch pie plate.
4. Repeat rolling the other pastry disc out to the same size & thickness.
5. For the 2nd pastry disc, cut it into ½ inch strips with pizza cutter once it is rolled out. This will be for the lattice top.
6. Place the bottom crust into the pie dish. Then spoon the strawberry mixture on top of the bottom crust.
7. Next weave the dough on top of the strawberries for the lattice top.
8. Brush lattice top with heavy cream and lightly dust with sugar.
9. Bake pie for 45 minutes to an hour until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Let cool and serve.