Back-To-School Cookies Create Family Traditions

Memphis, Tenn. (July 2009) – The first day of school is always one filled with excitement and a little anxiety, whether the youngster is a first grader off to meet classmates and teachers for the first time or a high school student anticipating new friends, fields of study and activities.

So welcome them home after that first day of school with the wonderful smell of homemade cookies. Serving up this delicious treat invites the opportunity to talk about classes, new friends and all the excitement that goes along with the new school year.

But more than that, it can be the first step in creating a tradition that carries on year after year, something that will be looked forward to at the beginning of each school year.

And that cookie tradition doesn’t have to end with the student’s high school career. Sending a care package filled with the first day of school cookies to your college student goes a long way, especially if they’re far from home. The memories they bring back will be special for both you and your student.

So where do you begin? Baking expert Dede Fuson recommends two classic cookies – Back-to-School Snickerdoodles and Oatmeal Cranberry Walnut– as ideal candidates for establishing a “back-to-school cookie” tradition because they are both easy to make and popular for all ages.

“Back-to-School Snickerdoodles are a scrumptious delight!” said Fuson. “Cinnamon and sugar are combined with other simple ingredients to create a chewy, crackle-topped cookie that goes perfectly with a tall glass of milk.”

Oatmeal Cranberry Walnut Cookies are a tasty combination of oats, brown sugar, walnuts and dried cranberries for a sweet and tart flavor twist.

“This is a classic oatmeal cookie with a variety of ingredient options that will surely make it a personal favorite of any family member,” said Fuson. “All you have to do is substitute one cup of your favorite ingredient for the dried cranberries to change the recipe. Try miniature chocolate candy, semi-sweet chocolate chips, butterscotch chips or other dried fruit like cherries, apricots or currants for a delicious surprise.”

For the best homemade cookies remember to use the finest ingredients like 100% soft wheat White Lily® All-Purpose Flour, butter, fresh ingredients and pure extracts. Be sure to measure ingredients accurately and use shiny baking pans for even browning. Dark pans absorb heat and cause the bottoms of the cookies to burn.

School days create memories that last a lifetime. By starting a first day of school cookie tradition, you add additional memories of family times and homemade goodness that will be meaningful for years to come. And who knows – you may be starting a cherished tradition that will be passed on to future generations!

For additional cookie recipes, please visit

Back-to-School Snickerdoodles

Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening
OR 1/2 Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening Sticks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups White Lily® All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. Heat oven to 400º F. Lightly spray baking sheet with no-stick cooking spray. Beat butter, shortening, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed, until well blended.
  2. Combine flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt in a medium bowl. Beat flour mixture into shortening mixture at low speed until combined. Shape dough into 1-inch balls.
  3. Mix 1/4 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll balls in sugar cinnamon mixture. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake 6 to 7 minutes, or until cookies are puffed and crackled on top and the edges are set. The centers will be soft. Allow to cool 1 minute on baking sheet. Remove to cooling rack.

Makes 72 cookies

Oatmeal Cranberry Walnut Cookies

Crisco Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
3/4 cup Crisco Butter Flavor Shortening
OR 3/4 Crisco Butter Flavor Shortening Sticks
1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups White Lily All-Purpose Flour
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup dried cranberries*
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts**

  1. Heat oven to 375º F. Lightly spray baking sheet with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. Beat shortening, brown sugar, egg, milk and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed, until well blended.
  3. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Beat flour mixture into shortening mixture at low speed until combined. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove to cooling rack.

Makes 60 cookies

*Substitute 1 cup dried cherries, dried blueberries, currants, candy coated chocolate candies, chocolate chunks, or white chocolate chunks for cranberries, if desired.

**Substitute 3/4 cup chopped pecans, pistachios or hazelnuts for walnuts, if desired.

Crisco is a registered trademark of The J. M. Smucker Company.

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