Here’s a recipe I could not wait to share with you! (To be clear, I was eager to share the recipe, not the cookies.) Pop Bud Cookies are a family favorite during cold winter months and summer picnics alike. And I’m not ashamed to say that when no one is looking, I’ll pack a few away to enjoy at home later on.
This recipe comes from Karen Ruhl, a lovely woman who also happens to be Dan’s mother’s cousin. It requires a few days to prepare the milk and allow the dough to rest, but once you taste the finished product, you’ll agree it was worth the wait. I’ve only enjoyed these soft, lightly sweet, and vanilla cookies without icing but image they would be just as good with icing decoration.
The recipe was adapted from a favorite cookie of Karen’s father, Pop Bud. He needed to make some healthy adjustments to his diet, so he adapted a local cookie recipe to a low-cholesterol cookie by replacing the original lard and whole milk with vegetable oil and homemade sour milk. I’ve cut the recipe in half because it makes so many cookies but you can easily double it for a crowd.
It was hard to get an accurate cookie count, as Dan and I did some delicious damage while testing the recipe. But I can tell you that Pop Bud Cookies yield many cookies and are best enjoyed after they’ve lived together overnight in a tightly sealed container.
· PLAN FOR TWO DAYS OF PREP before the dough is ready to bake. `
· There can never be too much flour for dusting. Repeat, there can never be too much flour for dusting. The dough gets very sticky when resting in the refrigerator, rolling out and transferring to the baking sheet. In the words of Pop Bud himself, “Remember girl, you can’t use too much flour.”
· When rolling, work quickly while the dough is cold, always dusting with more flour. The baked cookies are often powdery white on the bottom and that is okay; this will help prevent sticking when stored. Karen uses a 3-inch round cookie cutter but I found it was easier to cut into squares. Then rolling and cutting the remaining scraps.
· If you freeze the batter, be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator until it is workable. Remember the flour tip!
- 2¼ cups low-fat milk
- ⅓ cup cider vinegar
- 3½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 2½ pounds all-purpose flour, approximate 9 to 9½ cups
- In a small bowl, mix the milk and vinegar. Cover the bowl and keep at room temperature overnight.
- In a very large bowl mix in the sugar, oil, vanilla and salt. Add the milk and baking soda; stir to combine.
- Add the flour to the wet mixture and stir until combined. The dough will seem more of a thick batter but will firm up in the next step.
- Line a 9x13 inch baking pan or equivalent sealing container with parchment or waxed paper that is generously floured. Scoop in the dough. Generously sprinkle the dough with more flour, cover with parchment paper and tightly seal with a lid or foil. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 2 days.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF. On a very generously floured surface, roll out one-fourth of the dough to a bit thicker than ¼-inch, or a 12x10-inch piece. Cut into 3x4-inch pieces and, using a spatula, transfer to a lined/greased baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at 9 minutes.
- Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. Store the cookies between pieces of waxed paper in a tightly sealing container.