11-year-old Emerson Jordan is carrying on the Grandma Cookie’s Cut-Out Cookie recipe tradition for Christmas.

Donning a Santa hat, Emerson gleefully mixed the ingredients for the dough while his mom and dad told stories about previous years with these cut-out cookies. He is a student at Bowling Green Middle School and has been going to school virtually and working on his baking in his spare time.

Originally from the Akron/Canton area, Heather and Ethan Jordan, Emerson’s parents, travel every year to visit their families during the holiday season. Every year, Ethan’s mom Chris has the cookies waiting. This is the recipe that gave Emerson’s grandmother her nickname of “Grandma Cookie” a decade ago.

“We were visiting family here in Ohio while on a break from graduate school at Michigan Tech and we were in our car driving from one house to the next when we told Emerson we were going to visit his grandma, and from his car seat he questioned ‘Grandma Cookie?’ and she’s been Grandma Cookie ever since,” Heather said.

This recipe has brought up a batch of new holiday memories, with a few twists and recommended variations, depending on the size of one’s baking equipment.

“I don’t think we got it exactly right,” Heather said of this year’s batches. “I didn’t realize that it all wasn’t going to fit in my mixer, so we had to mix it by hand in the end.”

“That was so much fun, the mixing,” Emerson said. “I got to squish the dough through my fingers, and yes, I definitely washed my hands first. I washed them a bunch.”

Emerson later learned that grandma’s secret is a hand mixer and huge tub dedicated to this particular cookie recipe.

“Readers will definitely need to invest in either a big tub to mix it by hand like Emerson did, or they will have to add extra flour to the dough, if they halve the recipe to make it fit in a stand mixer,” Heather said. “When he halved the recipe, it made it way wetter in consistency and just wasn’t the same, so Emerson just added extra flour until it looked and felt like the first batch.”

Ethan said it’s important to do it correctly, even though it takes a lot of elbow grease.

“The cookies are a lot of work, and my mom is particular,” Ethan said.

Heather shared one story of when she and Ethan were just dating and she was invited over to help with the cookie decorating.

“I was excited to help out,” she laughed, “until I started to get yelled at for using too many sprinkles.”

In more recent years, Ethan’s older brothers and their significant others have typically helped frost the cookies, but the cookies are absolutely a Jordan family tradition.