12 Days of Cookies: Day Eight

When you begin blogging in earnest, it’s a good idea to also read as many blogs as you  can. In this way, you leave cosmic Internet star dust behind, making a trail for people to follow to your own blog. But also, and perhaps more importantly, you find other bloggers who you can learn from. 

This is how I found the Outlaw Mama. And I have learned so many things from reading her blog, which is funny, irreverent, heartfelt, and self-deprecating. And as good a writer as she is, she is also an incredible reader, the kind that comments frequently, cheers you on, and answers emails from pesky young bloggers like me with questions about blogging. And cookies. Food isn’t generally a subject she gets into, but I’m glad she did for my sake. 

Grandma’s Ashes

Post by the Outlaw Mama

You should know that I am NOT a cook. Or a baker. Or a candlestick maker (though I did rock Hanukkah this year, which is a big deal for a shiksa).

So, this cooking thing? Not so much. And I come from a long line of “I don’t cook” women. So, when it comes to “family recipes,” I have precisely one. Lucky for me and you, it’s a cookie recipe.

My maternal grandmother, Lucille O’Brien, famously made these cookies every time I saw her. She was born and raised in Convent, Louisiana, so if you are picturing a tiny, Catholic, Cajun woman with a healthy relationship to mosquitoes and humidity, you are picturing Lucille.

These cookies never had a name until my friend Jimmy Carranne learned the story of my grandmother making them. He seemed most impressed that there are only 3 ingredients. He named our venerable family cookie, “Grandma’s Ashes,” which stuck, though I haven’t had the heart to tell my mother that’s what we call them.

Please note that my friends who actually do cook, say it’s not a cookie recipe, but a brownie recipe. Fucking bitches, always trying to show me up.

Call it whatever you want, it’s easy to make and totally delicious.

I call it Grandma’s Ashes.

Ingredients. Count 'em:  3. | Photo by Christie Tate
Ingredients. Count ’em: 3. | Photo by Christie Tate


I box of Graham Crackers

1 bag of Chocolate Chips

2 cans of condensed milk

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (Isn’t it awesome that this is one whole step on its own? It takes 2 seconds to preheat the oven, and BOOM! You’ve already done step 1. Take a break. Have a warm beverage. Don’t rush yourself.)

Step 2: Crush the shit out of the Graham Crackers. My sister’s friend puts them in a Ziploc bag and runs her car over them. I get out a rolling pin and have my kid do her “anger work.” Get them as small as you can.

Step 3: Combine the Graham Cracker crumbs in a large mixing bowl with the chocolate chips. Then, stir in the condensed milk, which is thick and sticky and kind of a pain in the ass, but if you are reading this you are probably a cook and know how to use a mandolin and other complex kitchen shit, so it will be no big deal to you.

Step 4: Take the mixture and spread it into a baking pan (9×13) or whatever you have. I would grease it first. Lucille used lard, but I prefer some cooking spray. Put it in the oven. The recipe says to cook it for 27 minutes, which is a fucked up amount of time for cooking (what, not 30 and not 25?), but try that. You have to check to be sure they are done. When they are golden on top, you have yourself a tasty treat. A piece of Grandma’s Ashes.

Silly rabbit. | Photo by Christie Tate
Silly rabbit. | Photo by Christie Tate
Grandma's Ashes | Photo by Christie Tate
Grandma’s Ashes | Photo by Christie Tate


The 12 Days of Cookies

day one:  forgotten cookies (Whisks & words)

day two:  snickerdoodles (salted spoon)

day three:  white chocolate coconut shortbreads (movita beaucoup)

day four:  lavender shortbread (tastelyss)

day five:  yoda sugar cookies (the rook and ragbag)

day six:  speculaas (wild wisteria)

day seven:  spiced apple caramel-filled cookies (i ❤ beets)

17 thoughts on “12 Days of Cookies: Day Eight

  1. Wow – I have never seen a recipe that works like what I think this works like, but I do LOVE any recipe that has less than 5 ingredients. I just posted a cookie recipe on my blog yesterday that is four ingredients, so I am completely with you on this. And next time I need to stir those two crumbly bowls of cookie dough matter together, can I borrow your daughter?

  2. I’ll follow you anywhere, Outlaw Mama! “Grandma’s Ashes” is quite a name. I’ll be trying this out. You had me at sweetened condensed milk.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s