• Kim

Family Favorite- Grandma Melba's Cookies

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

Since I learned how to make these cookies, years and years ago, they have been one of my signature cookies.

I remember when I was young every time, when we would go to my grandma and grandpa's house, I would always head for the cookie jar at some point. These cookies weren't always in there, but when they were, between my Dad and I, they were gone by the time we left. These cookies were always my Dad's favorite, so much so that when my Grandma would come visit, she would also bring my dad a large coffee can full of them. Now if you caught that my grandma's name was Melba and these cookies are called Viva's it's because Viva was a friend of hers.

When you look at the recipe it looks so simple and plain. Honestly, the cookie by itself is quite plain, although it is a favorite of Ace's for sure. These pictures are from when he stole a few when I wasn't looking.

However, when you add the icing, it creates one of the best cookies. The cookie is a moist delicious base and the frosting is browned butter perfection. The combination is magical. Maybe it's because of the memories tied to them for me but they get me every time. They also have healing properties, if you ask my Dad. I tend to make them when he isn't feeling well, and usually within a few cookies he has more pep in his step. I have even made them as a Christmas present for him because they are just that good, and he loves them that much!!

I made these just a few weeks ago to help Poppy(my dad as Ace calls him) feel better. Here is the "all curing" recipe.


1/2 cup shortening

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 cup evaporated milk

1 tsp. vanilla

2-3/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 cup nuts, optional

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

Mix all above ingredients in a bowl, thoroughly. Drop about a tablespoonful on cookie sheet one inch apart. Bake for approx. 12-15 minutes. Watch that the bottoms do not get too brown. Remove to rack. Cool completely before icing.

ICING: Heat 2 tbsp. unsalted butter until golden brown. Beat in until smooth 2-3 cups powdered sugar (sifted) and 1/4 cup evaporated milk. I use closer to 3 cups as I like the frosting thicker versus thin and just pouring it over the cookie. Frost cookies liberally. Let frosting set before boxing or stacking. ENJOY!!

Recipe will yield about 70 cookies.

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