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Today's Case

Particular Master Mix Cookie Recipe

Subject: Unusual Master Mix Cookie Recipe Request
From: Mona
Date: 12/17/2020, 1:12 PM

On 12/17/2020 11:52 AM, Mona wrote:

Dear Uncle Phaedrus,

I hope you can help me. When I was a child I had an aunt who when visiting 
would always bring large quantities of delicious homemade pies and cookies. 
She was a tremendously good cook who worked in food service at the Sandusky 
college in Sandusky, Ohio and even did a 2 year rotation in the Betty Crocker 
test kitchen located there. She was a wonderful aunt and I really learned a 
lot of my cooking skills from her.  Unfortunately she passed away many years 
ago without sharing any of her best recipes. She would give snippets of what 
made her food special whether it was a certain ingredient or technique but 
never an actual recipe.

What I need help with is finding her main cookie recipe. There were at least 
4 types of cookies, all made with the same master mix (according to my aunt). 
The mix itself she said she always kept on hand so she could have a batch of 
cookies in the oven in very little time with very little  effort. The recipe 
itself probably included Crisco and had to have been shelf stable. She would 
have had no storage space in her fridge for a large container.

The cookies themselves were perfectly soft, fluffy, cakey in texture, with a 
slight variance in color and flavor according to type, they had a very thin 
glaze either colored, white or chocolate (probably the same glaze recipe with 
either food coloring or cocoa added), and every cookie looked exactly the same 
as far as size, shape (cookie scoop before there was cookie scoops), and height. 
The flavors of the cookies themselves were very subtle, you could still tell it 
was from the same cookie base.

Here is what flavors I remember:  
Plain cookie w/colored glaze
Chocolate cookie w/chocolate glaze
Spiced cookie ( I think she used either a cake spice mix or apple pie spice mix) w/ white glaze
Oatmeal cookie with either a raisin or walnut stuck on top w/white glaze

I’ve tried various master mixes but they never seem to have the same flavors or 
the appearance. Any help you could give me would be appreciated.

Thank you,


Hello Mona,

There are dozens of recipes on the web for "master cookie mix" and "basic cookie mix". Many call for Crisco by name, but many just say "vegetable shortening". Many list different kinds of cookies that can be made from the basic mix: sugar cookies, chocolate cookies, oatmeal cookies, lemon cookies. etc.

The problem with finding your aunt's basic mix recipe is that we don't know where the mix recipe originated. Did she get it from food service at Sandusky College or from someone at Betty Crocker or did she get it from somewhere else entirely or did she create her own recipe? I sense that you are using your descriptions  of the four flavors of cookies that you recall her making from the mix as the way to identify the correct mix recipe. However, I cannot find a basic or master cookie mix recipe that lists those four flavors of cookies as being ones that can be made from it, nor can I find one that's linked to Sandusky College.

Most of the basic cookie mix recipes that I can find are variations of the two below. I suppose these could be used to make the four cookies, but none of the recipes mention those four flavors. It's possible that one of the many basic cookie mix recipes that I looked at this morning might be exactly the same as the recipe that your aunt used, but if it didn't list those four flavors of cookies, then I would have no reason to think it was the right one.

I will post this on my site for input from my readers. Perhaps your description will strike a chord with someone.


Basic Cookie Mix
8 c. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 c. vegetable shortening

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugars, salt and baking soda until well-blended. 
With a pastry blender, cut in shortening until evenly distributed. Put in a large 
airtight container. Label and store in a cool, dry place. Use within 10 to 12 weeks. 
Makes about 16 cups of Basic Cookie Mix.
Basic Cookie Mix
4 c. all purpose flour
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/3 c. shortening that does not require refrigeration

In large bowl, thoroughly stir together first 4 ingredients. Cut in shortening until 
mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Store in covered container up to 6 weeks at room 
temperature. For longer storage, place in freezer. To measure, lightly spoon mix into 
measuring cup; level with spatula. Makes about 8 1/2 cups.
Hey Phaed:
For the Master Mix recipes send her this website:

Also send her this: 
Master Mix Cookbook
My first cookbook as a child was one like this dated 1951
Timm in Oregon 

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