You might be wondering who the heck Grandma Neuman is and what does she have to do with these cookies. Well, I have tell you I do not even know who the heck Grandma Neuman is other than that these cookies are made from her recipe. You see, back in the seventies, my brother was a paper boy in a small Minnesota town and one of his customers was this old lady, whom was only known to him as "Grandma Neuman" (small towns, gotta love 'em). One Christmas, Grandma Neuman gave my brother a small box of these cookies as a thank you (again, small towns--wish my world in the city was more like this...but I am pretty sure that if we gave our paper boy a box of cookies he would scowl at us)...the cookies came home, we all dug into them, and my mom then declared we must have the recipe and sent my brother back to request the recipe the next time her delivered her paper...and here we are today, still eating Grandma Neuman's cookies every single Christmas.
And these cookies are one my holiday faves--both because of how the recipe came to us, but also because they are simple to mix up, fun to cut out, and are a wonderful simple cookie that falls somewhere in flavor between a sugar cookie and gingerbread. I guess they are a spice cookie. And you can see above, the dough is Beeper approved.
This was Beeper's first year that he really dug into the whole cookie making process from start to finish--and you can see the colorful (did I hear someone say gaudy?), and richly festooned (did someone say looks like rainbow vomit?) fruits of his labors.
But you can also make these with simple white sanding sugar and they are lovely--like these little gingerbread men (that are technically not gingerbread men, I know...) that just got a light sprinkle of sugar and 3 red hot buttons and were piereced before and after baking with a skewer so they could be threaded with baking twine and hung on the tree. Or, you can just eat them too--because you will want to and they are just plain good in the way something can only be when it comes from an old lady known only as Grandma Neuman to her town.
You can download the recipe here: