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Monday, September 16, 2013

"Just Nan's" Scratch-My-Back Cookies

Dutch Oven Detour - “Just Nan’s” Scratch-My-Back Cookies

Peter’s Mamma recently passed along his Grandmother’s recipe books to him – pure gold!  Chock full of handwritten food spattered recipes, random notes written throughout, pages falling out, covers held together with tape – all signs of coveted and well used recipes.  Handwritten recipe books like these are a bit of a lost art – these days the interweb is our cookbook!


One of the recipes Peter couldn’t wait to try was Scratch-My-Back cookies.  Peter remembers his Nan (yup, she was a Nan…sometimes Nanny, but mostly “ Just Nan”…much like “Just Jack”) – very simple – Peter’s other Grandparent’s however were “Nanny & Pa” which at some point became a bizarre hybrid “Nanny-Pa” – yup, not so simple.  It was kinda like addressing two people by one name, but if addressing only one, it really made no sense.  You’d think one adult would have had the common sense to correct Peter and his siblings before they were teenagers instead of having to work through that themselves.  Anywho, we digress…where were we…right…Peter’s has many memories of “Just Nan” making lots of cookies – but none quite as often as Scratch-My-Back cookies.

We must warn you – these cookies are highly addictive…unless of course you have an aversion to shredded coconut as Jan does – she won’t go near the stuff (something to do with nail clipping or some such nonsense).  These cookies are everything a cookie should be – crisp, yet chewy  - sweet, yet salty – dense, yet light – they’ve got it all.  Now we know you’re gonna ask – but we have no idea where the name comes from – if anyone out there in the blogosphere has a clue, let us know.   The cookies are made by pressing them down and forming cross marks using the back of a fork – which may imply scratches, but these completely disappear while baking – so go figure.  You’re on your own with that one…and don’t even bother to Google it – notin’.

 Scratch-My-Back Cookies:

½ cup shortening
¼ cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut


Using a mixer, cream shortening and butter, add brown sugar and egg and beat until light and fluffy.  Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and gradually add to the wet ingredients until combined.  Mix in oats and coconut until combined.

Drop by spoonful (we used a 1 ½ Tbsp scoop) onto cookie sheet (a couple of inches apart – they’ll spread!).  Press each cookie down using the back of a fork forming cross marks (or scratches perhaps!!).  Back at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes (until golden brown).


  1. Mmmmm, another slightly different cookies that makes me hungry even this early in the morning.

  2. Wow- what a great way to use oats! I will definitely be trying these.

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