Rolled butter cookies: How 1 recipe keeps family connected to late grandmother

Terri Peters
·2 min read

Cory Sigle-Oliver's grandmother, Eleanor Sigle, died of ovarian cancer when he was four years old.

"According to my family, she was one hell of a baker," Sigle-Oliver told TODAY Food. "This recipe is important to me because it's very much a part of her."

"I will never truly know her," he continued, "but I do have an idea of the pride she had in her baking."

One of Sigle-Oliver's favorite recipes from his grandmother's kitchen is her rolled butter cookies, which he recently shared in the Old_Recipes subreddit.

"I'm posting my grandmother's recipe in hopes her delicious cookies are delighted by all," Sigle-Oliver wrote in his post.

Photo of old rolled butter recipe on yellowish paper (Courtesy Cory Sigle-Oliver)
Photo of old rolled butter recipe on yellowish paper (Courtesy Cory Sigle-Oliver)

Curious to see if the cookies were as delicious as they sounded, I whipped up a batch in my own kitchen. With simple-but-decadent ingredients like two sticks of butter, sugar and vanilla, I was certain they would be.

And I was right: The cookies baked quickly and had the perfect pillowy texture. Thanks to the butter, each bite melted in my mouth.

Whether decorated or plain, these buttery cookies are a true delight. (Terri Peters)
Whether decorated or plain, these buttery cookies are a true delight. (Terri Peters)

As far as decorating the cookies, the recipe simply lists "decorations" in the ingredients section. I chose to decorate my cookies with icing and sprinkles, but pressing a walnut halve into the center would have been delicious, too.

Sigle-Oliver, who, like his grandmother, was born and raised in New Jersey, said one of his family's favorite ways to decorate the cookies is to color the dough with food coloring and top each cookie with sprinkles — perfect for family celebrations.

I decorated my rolled butter cookies with icing and sprinkles. (Terri Peters)
I decorated my rolled butter cookies with icing and sprinkles. (Terri Peters)

"My family made these every year for the holidays and they are as good as they sound," he said.

But amazing butter cookies wasn't all Eleanor Sigle was famous for.

"(After her passing) the only thing our family wishes we had found is her pie recipes." he added. "My aunts and uncles rave about them but say they've never quite made them the same."

Related: Eric Kim's grandmother passed away ten years ago, but some of her cooking has been preserved.