The attached picture is of a cookie recipe from my grandmother who passed a year ago. I would like to make the cookies, especially since they share my daughter's name, but there is one ingredient that I can't decode. It appears that the recipe calls for:

Nora's Cookies:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup ????
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp soda
  • salt
  • vanilla and lemon extract
  • flour to roll out

What might the 3rd ingredient be?

enter image description here

  • 8
    Beside the ingredient (which you now decoded) she seems to have forgotten mentioning the flour. You might be supposed to knead this all into so much flour that the consistency is "right" - which makes it very difficult to reproduce.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 2:10
  • @rumtscho It looks like a pretty standard sugar cookie recipe, so probably about 3 cups of flour.
    – Ross Ridge
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 7:15
  • 1
    The thing I see missing is shortening.
    – GdD
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 11:41
  • 1
    @GdD that’s the “mystery ingredient”! Spry = shortening.
    – Stephie
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 14:01
  • 2
    @Stephie I think ignorance might be bliss here. If they don't what the end result is supposed to be like they won't know if the otherwise good cookies they've made are too thick/thin, chewy/crumbly or soft/crisp, etc. when compared to grandma's.
    – Ross Ridge
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 18:57

3 Answers 3


It's "spry"... which is actually what it looks like.

Spry was apparently a brand name shortening.

This related question "Is there anything special about "homogenized" shortening?" recommends simply using any type of vegetable shortening, like Crisco.

  • Spry did a great job of making itself a household word. Their advertisements with Aunt Jenny were quite charming. But they lost out to Crisco in the 50s. Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 0:03

The mystery ingredient reads spry, which is a brand of vegetable shortening. It's probably not available any more, just use any other brand.


Spry Vegetable Shortening. Spry was a brand of vegetable shortening produced by Lever Brothers starting in 1936. It was a competitor for Procter & Gamble's Crisco, and through aggressive marketing through its mascot Aunt Jenny had reached 75 percent of Crisco's market share. Just google it. enjoy your cookies

  • 2
    Bridget welcome to the site! There are a few issues with your answer: 1. You are simply copying the first few sentences from Wikipedia, without mentioning the origin. That's not ok. You may quote other sources, but please give the source. Also, if you are only copying text, we consider it not really "your" answer. 2. Answering "just google it" is not an answer. Often people have googeled before asking here and in this case, the asker was also unsure how to read the word. And, as a side note, we are often one of the first google hits when people have cooking questions! (And proud of it!)
    – Stephie
    Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 21:25
  • You should take the tour and browse our help center to learn a bit more about how the site works. Once you have gained just a bit reputation ("points"), you will start to get more and more privileges. Again: welcome!
    – Stephie
    Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 21:27

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