Elsie Teufel (née Jaeger) was Grandpa Henry’s older sister. She married Henry Teufel in 1914 and lived in Balaton, Minnesota, which was Henry’s hometown. After deciding that it was too cold to stay, the couple and their son Earl moved to Port Arthur, Texas, where Henry took a job working in the Gulf Refinery with his brother-in-law Adolph Pietz.
While living in Balaton, Elsie and Henry ran the Fountain Inn, a café where homemade cookies were on the menu.
After my parents were married in 1972, they went to visit Aunt Elsie and got to eat some of her delicious brown sugar-walnut cookies. My mother asked for the recipe, but being an experienced baker, Elsie had only to rely on her memory. She said she would write down the recipe when she had time, but for now, the three of them would just sit and visit with one another. When the recipe arrived in the mail the following week, my mother was tickled to see that her beloved aunt had named them “Aunt Elsie’s Cookies.”
Forty-nine years later, my mother continues to bake these wonderful cookies for her church friends and for her family.
Aunt Elsie’s Cookies
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter or margarine (2 sticks)
2 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped nuts
Mix first five ingredients. Add flour, baking soda, and nuts. Drop by teaspoon onto a baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees until golden brown (about 13 minutes).
Elsie in her kitchen
One thought on “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: In the Kitchen”
In my family the first person I thought of was my father’s mother. She was the youngest of ten children but the family was evacuated in World War 1 there was a bakery and she ran the place despite being the youngest. She also baked the wedding cakes for her husband’s brother and their children (some of them 3 or 4 tiers).
When I was in my teens I can remember her baking bread too. She also made a very good parkin cake.