My mom has my great-grandma's recipe book, and I have a good time flipping through it from time to time. It's full of hand-written recipes and clippings from catalogs, soup labels, and magazines. My great grandma marked some pages with colored pencil stars or X's and others with a squiggly cursive "Good." This particular recipe, simply titled "Washboard Cookies" was marked with a red X, so I assumed they must be good.
My great grandma's original recipes calls for raisins and nuts, but I didn't think the texture of this cookie would benefit from raisins, so I left them out and focused on the nuts. I also swapped out shortening for butter and added almond extract. The texture is somewhat similar to a shortbread, but also reminiscent of a sugar cookie. Let's call them a shortbread/sugar cookie hybrid.
From what I've Googled, washboard cookies originated in Portugal and were given their name because the pattern pressed into the top is reminiscent of an old-fashioned washboard. They'd be perfect for dunking into coffee or tea or for giving away at a Christmas cookie exchange.
Here's what you need.
- Granulated Sugar
- Brown Sugar
- Unsalted butter
- Cream of tartar
- Baking soda
- Vanilla extract
- Almond extract
Here's how to make these washboard cookies.
Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter to a large bowl and beat with a hand or stand mixer until smooth and combined. Add eggs and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar, and whisk until there are no clumps and everything is combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the sugars and butter, mixing as you go. Once combined, mix in the vanilla extract, almond extract, and almonds.
Form the dough into medium-sized balls and place on a baking sheet. Then press them flat with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops start to turn slightly golden brown. I place mine on the bottom rack for 6 minutes and then move them to the top rack for the last 6 minutes.