Costly Cookies

December 24, 2020 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Karen O’Connor –

When I think of my mother, I think of her butter horn cookies. Mmm! The kids in our family could polish off a plate of these melt-in-your-mouth treats in minutes. So when it was my turn to provide dessert for the married couples group my husband and I belong to, I decided to make a batch of Eva’s Butter Horns.

I looked in the pantry and fridge for the ingredients and realized I didn’t have any of them on hand. Our oven had been on the blitz for months, so I had not been able to bake anything. But the day of the meeting I had no more excuses. We had purchased a new oven when we updated our kitchen.

I drove to the store and purchased flour, butter, cane sugar, powdered sugar, chopped nuts, eggs and salt. Then I remembered I didn’t have a rolling pin, so I picked up that too. Total bill: $40.21. Add to that the $1634.03, the purchase price for the built-in oven, and I could see this was going to be one expensive batch of cookies, let me tell you. To be exact, each cookie—48 in all––cost $34.88.

But the worst was yet to come. As I tried to roll out the flour mass (make that mess), the dough stuck to the rolling pin for dear life. I added a bit of flour to the board and to the dough, but no luck. So I started over. Then it dawned on me that it makes sense to flour the rolling pin before rolling out the dough. That helped a bit, but the result was anything but the perfect circle my mother used to make.

It’s pretty hard to make butter horns (visualize miniature crescent rolls) unless the circle of dough is very thin and very round. After much frustration, I managed to make three-dozen cookies that only vaguely resembled the perfect ones Mom used to make.

However, the guests didn’t know the difference. Every cookie vanished from the plate within ten minutes of my arrival. I was lucky to eat just one, but I was determined to get my $34.88 share.

Recipe for Eva’s Butter Horns
1 cup butter (softened)
2 cups flour (white or wheat)
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
3/4 cup light sour cream

3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup of finely chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Cut butter into flour. Combine egg yolk and sour cream. Blend with flour mixture. Form into ball and cover with waxed paper. Chill in refrigerator overnight or for several hours before baking.

Divide dough into three parts. Roll each part into a circle about 12″ in diameter. Cut each circle into 16 wedges with knife or pizza cutter.

Prepare the filling. Combine sugar, nuts, and cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture over the dough. Roll each wedge, starting with the wide end, shaping into crescents.

Bake on ungreased cookie sheet until light brown at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet to cool. Dust with powdered sugar.

Share and enjoy!

About Karen OConnor

Karen O'Connor is an award-winning author of 70+ published books, a featured speaker at conferences and ministry events, and a writing instructor and editor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. Visit Karen on the web at
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6 Responses to “Costly Cookies”
  1. Mary Jo says:

    I had to smile, remembering my own ordeal baking a gazillion ginger snaps for a college bake sale.

    Your cookies are much more expensive, though, and sound delicious.

    I’m copying this recipe for a special occasion.

    Thanks for the kitchen humor and a new challenge.

  2. Carol Loewen says:

    Karen, that’s a delightful story. And I LOVE the picture of you smiling. Beautiful!

  3. Charise says:

    My mother in law makes these and sends us in with others for Christmas each year. I didn’t know what they were called! She rolls them up and leaves the ends open… My husband said he and his sister always called them “cigarette cookies” and would pretend they were smoking as they ate them. Butter Horns sounds much better! Now I know. AND I have the recipe (though it sounds beyond my cookie ability).

  4. Dianne says:

    I spent time with my Mom and we made your cookies, Karen. They were yummy! They took some work. Or maybe that’s just my baking skills… But when done they sure didn’t last long! Thanks for the recipe.

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