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Van deKamps cookies

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  • Dee Sep 14, 2000 07:42 PM
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Does anyone know if Van dekamps still produces Baked Goods? Years ago they made a small Sugar Cookie that was the best I have ever tasted. I would love to know if the company goes by another Corp. Name and where the Headquarters is located.

Thanks!!

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  1. As far as I know, Van de Kamp's has been gone for years--I loved the Dutch girl cookies and the shaped sugar cookies they made for holidays. And the old bakery building, a should-be historic landmark on San Fernando Road in Frogtown is slated to be demolished soon.

    No more windmill cookies.

    24 Replies
    1. re: Pepper

      Van de Kamp's windmill cookies--wow, talk about something I haven't thought about in years, but wish I could have some of now.

      1. re: Caitlin

        I've seen some Van de Kamp products at Ralph's markets. Don't remember which products, though. What I miss the most are their orange bran muffins. They were the best.

        1. re: Kit

          Available or not, I'm on the wrong coast now. But I asked my boyfriend, "hey, remember Van de Kamp's?" and we both had a childhood flashback.

          1. re: Kit

            "Van de Kamp's" is now a registered trademark of Aurora Foods, which also has the Duncan Hines, Mrs. Butterworth's, Mrs. Paul's, and Log Cabin trademarks, among others. Aurora acquired the Van de Kamp's frozen seafood business from Pillsbury in 1995. The trademark is used by Aurora, and Pillsbury before it, on frozen seafood products like fish sticks and fish fillets. Perhaps this is what you saw at Ralph's.

            1. re: Tom Armitage

              I just returned from Ralph's Mkt. They had at least a dozen kinds of Van deKamp doughnuts and some Eng. muffins but no cookies. I checked the box and it says that Ralph's is the distributor. No other company was mentioned.

            2. re: Kit
              l
              LYDIA C. CARMONA

              PLEASE IF ANYBODY KNOW'S HOW WE CAN GET THE RECIPES
              TO VAN DEKAMPS BUTTER SUGAR COOKIES AND DATE NUT BREAD
              PLEASE LET ME KNOW I WANT TO MAKE SOME. I CAN'T FIND
              THEM IN THE STORES.

              THANK YOU LYDIA

              1. re: LYDIA C. CARMONA

                Did you ever find any recipes for the Van de Kamp's cookies? I would absolutely love a recipe for the Dutch Girl cookies, or at least something like them. Thank you.

                1. re: Terri

                  Did you ever get a recipe for Van deKamps Sugar Cookies? Were those the ones that were flaky, with big sugar crystals on them?
                  Oh man!!!!!!! I am drooling!
                  Sheryl

                  1. re: Sheryl

                    I would love the recipe too.

                    1. re: Rusty

                      Does anyone remember those Van De Kamp's chewy pecan cookies? They used to come in these wonderful white boxes with little cellophane windows. I'm glad I'm not the only one who liked these.

                    2. re: Sheryl

                      are those the rectangular sugar cookies... flakey with big sugar crystals?... loved those too uncle phaedrus has a website for lost recipies but the data base is extensive and has no index so i have been going through them one at a time and found wonderful ones but ... not the one for those fab sugar cookies!
                      good luck

                      1. re: sewdizzy

                        Those cookies your talking about are carmelized suger cookies
                        with more of a crunch then flakey. It was and still is my all time
                        favorite. I looked them up on uncle phaedrus and found the
                        recipe. It is so close it will make you young once again. If you
                        try this recipe let me make a suggestion i learned the hard way.
                        do as the recipe directs you to do with the exception of how you
                        cook them. after rolling out and cutting the cookie place the parchment paper on a cake cooling rack (half inch grid) and place the cookies on the paper and the cookies will turn out perfect.
                        if you place the paper on the cookie sheet no matter how long you cook them they will remain chewy in the middle no matter how thin and they are not good that way. Anyway happy cookie and i believe you will be very pleased with the outcome.

                        1. re: alleng

                          You say you found the recipe? Would you mind sharing it or the URL with us?

                          1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                            http://www.hungrybrowser.com/phaedrus...

                          2. re: alleng

                            Please oh please share the recipe! That was my absolute FAVORITE cookie of all time. Very addictive!!!!! I would really, really appreciate the recipe so that I can make them for my four sons....and now....finally a daughter in law!

                            1. re: prdreams

                              If you're talking about the Dutch Girl sugar cookies, I posted the link below: http://www.hungrybrowser.com/phaedrus...

                          3. re: sewdizzy

                            Are the Duch Girl cookies the same as the rectangular sugar cookies sewdizzy asked about? Those are the ones I remembered and they were pale colored, not a deep golden color.

                            1. re: sknittymama

                              They were the thin rectangular cookies with the big sugar crystals. Although they were usually fairly pale in color, they were sometimes a little more browned (and usually more brown on the bottom).

                          4. re: Sheryl

                            Yes, something about the colored sugar crystals did it for me. ESPECIALLY, the pumpkin shaped ones with orange sugar at Halloween.

                        2. re: LYDIA C. CARMONA

                          Although the recipe for the date nut bread seems to be lost forever, one person who really loved the bread (like me) went to a lot of trouble to try to recreate it. You can find the recipe here:

                          http://www.waynesthisandthat.com/cook...

                      2. re: Caitlin

                        I'm not sure if they are the same, but Archway makes delicious windmill cookies. They taste like the windmill cookies I remember from childhood and I do believe that we had Van de Kamps's then.

                        The Van de Kamp's item I remember most fondly though, was their golden cake with chocolate frosting with walnuts. They used to sell a half cake in a box with a window so you could see the inside of the cake -- with its nice lighter chocolate filling. Yummy! Does anyone else remember that?

                        1. re: rosaliew

                          I loved those cakes! I wasn't that crazy about the frosting that they used between the layers so I would cut a piece and put it in a bowl then mix it all together, it would drive my mother crazy when I did it but I loved it, always ate every bite. I also remember the applesauce cakes, I've never found any other company that even makes an applesauce cake let alone one as good. I miss them SO much. I would love to find the recipe for that cake.

                      3. re: Pepper

                        Procratination! I have waited too many years to find out about the Dutch Girl cookies. That was exactly what I was looking for today. Any chance you have gotten a recipe for them? They were so wonderful.

                        1. re: Terri

                          Van deKamps can be contacted through Aurora foods. "http://www.aurorafoods.com/brand/vand..." van deKamps They have a 'contact us' link.Me personally? I MISS their old thick little p-nut butter cookies. SOOOOOOOOo GOOD with milk! And where is the Mocha Cream Cake??? :-( I sent a question about their cake in hopes of FINDING one for my mom's BD in April! It was her favorite cake. Entenmenns can't come CLOSE to those goodies!

                          Link: http://www.aurorafoods.com/brand/vand...

                      4. I guess now it would be a guilty pleasure, but then it was just a pleasure. As a kid, no treat was greater than breaking the cellophane seal of the huge Van De Kamp rosette rolls. Imagine a cinnamon roll without the cinnamon, but with streusel instead. More than once, I ate all four at one sitting.

                        1. my favorites were the chocolate chip cookies. they were moist, compared to the other packaged cookies. and chewy.

                          as has been mentioned, van dekamps is selling donuts at ralphs, but no cookies. as someone explains later, it's not the same company anymore.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: elisha

                            Entemann's soft baked cookies (choc. chip and those with macadamia nuts and toffee) are nice and chewy. They also sell these at Ralph's.

                          2. Van deKamp's cookies are best savored as a memory.

                            1. My Dad used to work for Van de Kamp's. The bakery went out of business years ago shortly after he retired. The frozen food/fish business was a separate entity. I found a recipe for "Carmelized Sugar Cookies" at KingArthurFlour.com - it looks like it might be close to the Dutch Girl Cookies. I haven't tried it yet. I'd also love the recipes (or close facsimiles) for the Date Nut Bread and the Bran Muffins. I remember the Peanut Butter Cookies someone mentioned, too. They were good.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: c miller

                                Can you send the recipie for the sugar cookies?
                                Do you have one for the chocolate fudge square?

                              2. I have not tried this recipe but I found it on the" Uncle phaedrus,finder of lost recipes" website.Someone wrot in asking for the Van de Kamps' Dutch girl Cookie recipe: Caramelized Sugar Cookies

                                1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
                                1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (4 1/2 ounces) whole milk
                                a drop of lemon oil*
                                1 teaspoon instant yeast
                                1/4 teaspoon salt
                                1/2 cup (4 ounces, 1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
                                1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) coarse sugar, for rolling

                                *Yes, a drop of lemon oil. You want just the merest hint of citrus here; it should be
                                almost unidentifiable, just enough to make people wonder what they're tasting.
                                Mix together the flour, milk, lemon oil, yeast and salt till well-combined. Using an
                                electric mixer, beat in the pieces of butter one at a time, beating for 1 full minute
                                after each piece is added. The dough will be very smooth and elastic. Remove the dough
                                from the mixer, place it in a small bowl, cover the bowl, and refrigerate it for 2 hours,
                                or as long as overnight.

                                Preheat your oven to 275°F. Sprinkle your work surface heavily with coarse sugar (white
                                or demerara). Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time (and keeping the
                                other half refrigerated), roll the dough on the sugar-covered surface as thinly as possible,
                                adding additional sugar to the work surface from time to time. Halfway through the rolling
                                time, turn the dough over so that both top and bottom surfaces end up heavily coated with sugar.

                                Using a cookie cutter or (less trouble) a rolling pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut the dough
                                into shapes, or into squares or diamonds. Try to cut pieces about 2 1/2 inches in size; they'll
                                shrink a bit, and by the time they're finished baking, they'll be about 2 inches, a nice size
                                for this particular cookie. Note: If you make them too large, the edges brown way before the
                                middle; the goal is an evenly browned cookie. Transfer the cookies to parchment-lined baking
                                sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough.

                                Bake the cookies for 45 to 50 minutes. They should be a deep, golden brown, but not burned.
                                The closer you get to deep brown, the better they'll taste. Remove them from the oven and
                                transfer them to a cooling rack as soon as possible, otherwise they may stick to the parchment.
                                Yield: about 5 dozen 2-inch cookies.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: WINDELLA

                                  This recipe is as close to the original Dutch Girl cookies as you can get! I tried it, and loved it!

                                2. VDK's angel food cake with milk chocolate frosting was the best.

                                  1. Of the Van de Kamps products actually available now at Ralphs, the sourdough English muffins are excellent - cooking up with a delicate but pronounced crunch, a nice tartness and a sort of lightly puddingy effect inside. I may prefer them to Bay's, which is the default high-end muffin in Los Angeles - very good, but featherweight. And the VDK muffins are cheap, often less than a buck per sixpack, which is to say less than half what the vastly inferior Thomas's muffins cost.

                                    Have 'em with some good butter and a smear of the wonderful locally produced King Kelly marmalade, and you'll be in L.A. muffin satori.

                                    1. I also enjoyed VanDeKamps baked goods growing up and remember the Van De Kamps Restaurant on Laurel Canyon just South of Victory. We went there all the time as kids. A long shot for the recipe may be to try asking at Lawry's.The Lawry's empire was started by the same two guys that started Van De Kamps bakery.
                                      Chuck

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: chuck

                                        i too use to eat at a Van de Kamp's restaurant in the old days! woo hoo!
                                        my favorite was the french toast. i would do JUST ABOUT anything to be able to have that again. it was the best bar none.

                                        1. re: chuck

                                          and thanks for the hint of lawry's! i like their spaghetti sauce mix.

                                        2. VanDeKamps, talk about old school. I met one of the grandkids at work on day. Told me the sad story behind the sale.
                                          I believe EVERYTHING was sold. What is available at the stores now doesn't compare to the old bakery days.
                                          But maybe if you can locate the original family they might be able to release the original recipes. But I wouldn't count on it.

                                          Most of the family still lives in the L.A. area, from what I am told.

                                          1. Oh my God, those cookies were great. The best chocolate chip cookie outside of the real tollhouse that you make at home. and the Maple cookies, they were soo good.

                                            I miss them...........

                                            1. I want the receipe for the Oatmeal cookies- I have never found any better!
                                              Maybe the family could be encouraged to put a receipe book together

                                              1. Did any evr find the recipe for those maple pecan chewy cookies? I loved those as a kid.

                                                1. Ralphs still has Van de Kamps (love the mini chocolate donuts) but I haven't seen the cookie box (variety) in a while.

                                                  1. I am going to try the sugar cookies recipe today. I also would love to get the recipe for the maple pecan. Another favorite of mine was a very thin cookie, same size as the maple pecan. Can't recal the name but is was buttery and nearly melted in your mouth.

                                                    1. Van De Kamp's also made some great bread. Salt rising was my favorite. Does anyone know may sell it? It's not easy to make......I've tried a few times, but not not my satisfaction

                                                      1. I am one of the grandaughters of Theodore Van de Kamp, Co-Founder of Van de Kamp Bakeries. Yes, even my favorite all time cookies is the Dutch Girl Sugar! When asked years ago, my father said he could not translate the recipe for personal kitchen use. It had been modified to commercial size over the many years. He has since passed away. He would have so appreciated your comments. He loved his company and Los Angeles. The company was closed in the 90's and only our name remains.

                                                        11 Replies
                                                        1. re: JodyVdK

                                                          JOdy so enjoyed hearing from you! I just discovered this forum - over the years I have off and on drooled over my memories of those VdK goodies that I used to enjoy at my grandparents house in Corona del Mar. I would give my eye teeth to be able to get those chewy maple pecan cookies and those little peanut butter cookies again. So no recipes have survived at all? I want to sit down and cry.

                                                          1. re: JodyVdK

                                                            I am a far relative of Jody Van de Kamp and still living in the Netherlands. Many years ago, I believe it was 1980, Jody and I were introduced to eachother in La Jolla. Her father Ted Van de Kamp and my father Joseph Van de Kamp met only by coincidence in the sixties or seventies during a summit in La. After they met they also found out that they were related!
                                                            If I remember well, this was even published in some journal or newspaper.

                                                            Not only did I always enjoy the Dutch Girl Sugar too, we really enjoyed being around our USA "family" on many occasions.
                                                            I am very proud to have met the founders of Van de Kamp Bakeries in person and it is really great to read all these enthousiastic stories about their famous cookies.

                                                            I still remember the little Dutch Windmill too. Is it still in their current logo?
                                                            When I look out of my bedroom window I can see an original Dutch Windmill.
                                                            For some reason this always makes me think of Jody and her family.

                                                            Best regards to all of you,
                                                            especially to Jody!

                                                            Allard Van de Kamp

                                                            1. re: Allard

                                                              Hi Allard and Jody, I am the grandson of Arthur Van de Kamp, Ted's brother. I will see if grandma Mary Lou can dig up any old recipes. :) -Fritz

                                                              1. re: fritzvdk

                                                                There's a recipe floating around the web that claims to replicate the much-beloved Dutch Girl cookies. I keep meaning to try it:

                                                                http://www.hungrybrowser.com/phaedrus...

                                                                Van de Kamps also made the best packaged chocolate chip cookies I'd ever eaten. The problem was always that I'd eat the whole box!

                                                                1. re: fritzvdk

                                                                  Hi Van de Kamp Grandson! Who knew we could connect on THIS site. Too funny. I wonder if your Aunt Tina would have any of the recipes among other VdK history. Are you on FB?

                                                                  Hi to Al, too. Give my best to the VdK Holland family.

                                                                  To Van de Kamp Cookie fans...The VdK family will try to find any recipes if possible for you. My best guess is they have been modified for commercial equiptment since the '20s. I do miss them too. Trust me, we were raise on them!

                                                                  1. re: JodyVdK

                                                                    Hi Jody,

                                                                    Hope you are doing fine. Unfortunately my letter to Kathy in Hong Kong was recently returned to me after a long journey around the world.

                                                                    If you feel like it, please catch up with me on bergconsulting@hotmail.com

                                                                    Best regards to all Van de Kamps overseas, including Fritz ofcourse!

                                                                    Allard Van de Kamp
                                                                    The Netherlands

                                                              2. re: JodyVdK

                                                                I was so excited to see the Van de Kamps are still around. I grew up in Whittier, CA. in the sixties and spent many great times with my family and the wonderful VdK products. I especially remember the date nut bread, bran muffins and Russian tea cakes. I am a classically trained culinarian and if any of the VdKs can come up with any of their baked good recipes I would be willing to convert commercial size recipes into household equivalencies in exchange for the recipes. I think someone in your family should write a recipe book using these fantastic heirloom gems.

                                                                1. re: JodyVdK

                                                                  Hi Jody - what a thing to find YOU here. Do you still remember Cannes in the summer of what must have been 1981. You and your sister were there and the four of us spent some wonderful days together. I - Peter the ongoing dentist from copenhagen - were there with a friend. I would be so happy to hear from you on : petergade@web.de Best regards Peter :-)

                                                                  1. re: JodyVdK

                                                                    Jody and all other VdK family members, let me tell you how I stumbled on this website and thread. I was searching for VdK dutch girl sugar cookies! I haven't seen them in years (and as it is this thread is a couple of years old so I hope you and your other family members will still get this). The sugar cookies were my mother's favorite non-chocolate cookie. And so they became a favorite of mine.
                                                                    I hope that if you and the other family members are interested that you will truly think about putting an old family recipe book together of all the old favorites because I have never tasted another cookie like that one ....and from the sounds of these posts that was the case with a number of VdK bakery goods.
                                                                    Please, please, please think about searching for those recipes and giving that gift to the chowhounds of the world that remember those incredibly good treats. I would definitely buy that cookbook. And as for not being sure how to convert those recipes, really there are people that can help with that. Please think about it. : )

                                                                    1. re: JodyVdK

                                                                      hello Jody,
                                                                      i remember eating at a Van de Kamp's restaurant back in the 50's. (i was young!)
                                                                      it was my absolute favorite restaurant because of the french toast.
                                                                      would you possibly have a recipe for it still?
                                                                      it was like a monti cristo crust. it was just perfect.
                                                                      i have looked for years and this is as close as i have come so far *s* a relative.
                                                                      thanks for any help at all ever!

                                                                      1. re: JodyVdK

                                                                        jody, my dad used to do the trucking for Van de Kamps, and drove the grapevine every night to bring baked good to Northern california.he was laid of in the 80's , and retired thereafter. My absolute favorite cookie was the box of assorted christmas cookies with the sprinkles. omg, il never forget it. i buy store bought sugar cookies every year just to see if i can get lucky again. No dice.Anyways just to share a story, Christmas was synonomous with Van de Kamp. Each year my dad would drive his rig home, and roll out crates of pasteries and pass em out to the entire neighborhood. im guessing your grandfather had a generous nature, as i doubt my father paid to do this on his own. Ayways, i found the blue windmill on a pack of bagels today, and started looking around for anything van de kamp i can find. was hoping to buy those cookies online. Sad that we cant.but i did find this site, maybe we can pull our recourses together.

                                                                      2. Oh GOD!! You guys don't know how hard I try to get those cookies in the blue can. Once I bought one and hid it in the closet I was on diet my mother discovered, we sat and shared. Boy those are memories. I'm trying to find a butter (Danish) that use to come in a golden tin, any information? See you all

                                                                        1. Hey, can anyone help? I too was a big fan of the Van de Kamps desserts. In the '60s and early 70s my parents used to pick up a cake from our local grocery store, mostly on special occassions...but some times just for the heck of it. My mother who just had her '89th birthday is here visiting from Phoenix...and we started talking about the "good old days." Anyway, my mom and I always bring up a cake that our whole family enjoyed back then. The cake was made by Van de Kamps but we can't remember the name, but the cake was a 2 layer and the cake itself tasted a bit like coffee and the cake was a tan color...very moist and not too sweet. Between the 2 layers was the same icing that covered the cake...it was a light brown icing and if I remember right, it may have had a mocha or chocolate taste....the icing was then dowsed with a light covering on top with chocolate sprinkles...the icing itself may have had a slight coffee flavor, but I remember the cake definitely had a coffee flavor...it wasn't real sweet..but man, was it good. Probably our most favorite cake of all time. Would anyone here know of this recipe or any way of acquiring the recipe for this cake...or have any idea of a recipe that would be comparable? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: splat55

                                                                            I just returned from Ralph's Market, They had the Van de Kamp's variety box of Fancy cookie Assortment, Oh so goood!!!!!!! Haven't seen this in years had to buy two boxes.

                                                                            1. re: Graya

                                                                              Well...here it is almost a year later and I have just returned from Fry's (Kroger or Ralph's depending on where you live) and a giant walk down memory lane. I spied the Van de Kamp white box with blue writing just as I remember from my childhood growing up in California and my heart skipped a happy beat. The only had boxes of donuts which I remember as being very good, but what i now long for are the Dutch Girl Cookies...best thing I ever put in my mouth. I will try the recipe listed in this blog and hope it comes close and I can relive those delicious memories. I too loved the maple pecan, and the chewy molasses. If truth be known I am really not a cookie lover at all at this point in my life and I now realize the reason why. I was so spoiled growing up with the best boxed cookies on the planet and nothing since will ever hold a candle to my Van de Kamp cookie memories.

                                                                              How great to see that members of the Van de Kamp family took time to stop by and tell their stories. If anyone comes across more recipes let me know.

                                                                              1. re: zoniesis

                                                                                I also just returned from a Ralph's market and noticed that VDK is owned by Inter-American Products. I sent them an email at http://www.interamericanproducts.com/... to see if they still make Salt-Rising bread and Dutch Girl cookies, and if either can be ordered, since my Ralph's hasn't be able to give me an answer on either one. I'll post their response here.

                                                                                1. re: mamurphy333

                                                                                  I finally received an answer to my inquiry and it isn't good:

                                                                                  "Subject: Inter American Products Comment 9363344
                                                                                  Date: 9/27/2010 6:49:23 A.M. Pacific Standard Time
                                                                                  From: christie.metropulos@kroger.com
                                                                                  Reply To:
                                                                                  To: mamurphy333@aol.com
                                                                                  CC:
                                                                                  BCC:
                                                                                  Sent on:

                                                                                  Dear Mr. Murphy:

                                                                                  Thank you for contacting Inter American Products. We do not take orders for products over the Internet. The Van De Kamp's Salt Rising Bread and the Dutch Girl Cookies have been discontinued and are not longer available.

                                                                                  I am sorry that we cannot be more assistance with your request.

                                                                                  Sincerely,

                                                                                  Christie Metropulos
                                                                                  Consumer Affairs

                                                                                  Reference: 9363344"

                                                                          2. I did find a recipe for the original Dutch Girl Cookies if anyone is still interested.
                                                                            http://www.themclains.com/tm/recipes/...

                                                                            1. I did find a recipe for these...been a long time since your post but here it is.
                                                                              http://www.themclains.com/tm/recipes/...

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: msnancee2u

                                                                                Thanks, I'd like to give them a try.

                                                                                I've got a salt-rising bread recipe, reportedly for VDK, but my aunt and my dad say the result isn't much like VDK's...very tasty, however:

                                                                                http://www.grouprecipes.com/30458/lik...

                                                                              2. I can't believe there are so many people out there who also dream about these childhood bakery goods. Choc. chip cookies, maple pecan,molasses...the best! The little 1/2 donettes-crumb and powdered sugar. And the white cake with the light brown frosting? Has anyone made any headway in finding the recipes? Van De Kamps was awesome!

                                                                                1. I've looked for Van deKamps for quite awhile, for the same reason. Those sugar wafers which were like rectangles of crisp danish pastry and covered with pearl sugar? Sooo good. It looks lke we're out of luck (until I figure out how I'm gonna make some myself. The pastry itself is a lot of work, folding and rolling and folding and rolling.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: LeighAnne59

                                                                                    LeighAnne, there is a recipe on Kingarthurflour.com that is for "Crystal Diamonds" in the cookie section. Very easy to make, you just have to get them thin enough. They are the closest recipe I have found for the Dutch Girl cookies.

                                                                                  2. Here is the link to the recipe for the cookies that taste IDENTICAL to the old Van De Kamp's sugar cookies. http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe.... I made this and they were scary good!!!!! I was transformed back to my childhood!