Favorite Cookie Recipe

Karen Michelle Payne

I was blessed to be given Edna Zook’s last few dozen of her Buttermilk Cookies. She had them frozen in her freezer when she passed away and her children kindly gifted them to me. I have pondered long and hard as to when to put them to use.

After much consideration, I decided that it was only appropriate to utilize these tasty confections to kick off the Holidays with my family this weekend. ❤️ Today I pulled them out to thaw and many tears have ensued. These cookies have been a longtime favorite sweet of mine and I have passed that love to Joe and our children.  I have baked these cookies alongside of Mrs. Zook and I have baked these (as had Mrs. Zook) on many special occasions to be devoured by our family and friends. She may be gone, but her cookie will continue to be a reminder to me of the love she so willingly showed time after time to us and to many, many others.

A cookie is such a simple sweet course, but the fact that she put forth the effort time after time in spite of what was going on in her personal life (not to mention the divine taste), made it a prized cookie.

May we all live by her example of servitor ship and kindly invest in those we love this season and throughout the year. I miss my longtime baker friend, but I know she is in a better place. She earned her destination… one tasty confection at a time.

Mrs. Zook’s Buttermilk Cookies


4 cups sugar
2 cups lard (Fisher’s is best)
4 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
2 cups Buttermilk
9 cups flour (Robin Hood is best)
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt

Cream together sugar and lard. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add buttermilk, mix well and set aside.
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt then add half the dry ingredients to the first mixture. Mix well, then add remainder of dry ingredients. (Using dough hooks to stir mixture helps.)
This makes a stiff dough. Sprinkle small amount of flour in bottom of a bowl (preferably glass) and place dough inside. Sprinkle top of dough with flour. Cover and chill overnight.
Take 1/4 portions of the dough at a time and roll it out. (Always keep dough in refrigerator until ready to roll out.) Use ample flour and knead so dough hangs together. Roll out cookies with a rolling pin and cut into desired shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 8 minutes. Convection baking is best. This recipe makes 8-9 dozen of cookies.

Icing Ingredients

1 stick margarine (melted)
1 cup milk (heated to lukewarm)
2 tsp vanilla
Powdered Sugar (usually 2-3 cups)
Mix ingredients together using whatever powdered sugar is needed to make the right consistency of icing. The heated milk adds a shine to the icing after it dries. Note: This icing should be stiff enough to not run off of the cookies. I use food color to color the icing according to my choice of cookie and the desired color for the occasion.

Buttermilk cookies may be frozen after you bake them. If serving right after baking, let cookies cool and then ice them. (However, do NOT ice before freezing.)

**The noted brand names are the recommendation of Mrs. Zook. I thought I could get by with other flour and I was so very wrong!!

Click here to download and print the Buttermilk Cookie Recipe