I have no idea where these cookies got their name. Do Re Mi Cookies have been part of my family’s Christmas cookie baking repertoire for years. But never once have I heard why they’re called Do Re Mi Cookies.
Despite their unknown origin, they’re one of my favorite cookies. The recipe was typed via typewriter on an index card by my Grandma Verie, my mom’s mom. She made them each Christmas. The dough is reminiscent of sugar cookie dough, but it’s tangy, thanks to the addition of cream of tartar. Cream of tartar is a byproduct of fermenting grapes into wine. It’s acidic and lends a wonderful tang to cookies like snickerdoodles. It is also used to help egg whites keep their shape for desserts such as meringue.
For these Do Re Mi Cookies, we use a whole teaspoon of cream of tartar (for reference, most meringue recipes call for ¼ teaspoon). It not only gives the cookies their tanginess but it also creates a slightly chewy cookie. The cream of tartar inhibits the sugar from crystallizing to form a crunchy cookie. Another fun fact about cream of tartar: it can be used, together with baking soda, as a substitute for baking powder.
The other great characteristic about Do Re Mi Cookies is their jacket of toasted pecans. I used my food processor to chop the pecans, then rolled the balls of dough in them. As the cookies bake, the pecans toast, and create a wonderful nutty layer around each cookie.
For baking cookies, I always use a silicone baking mat. I previously used parchment paper, but I’ve all but stopped. I now use a silicone baking mat for not only cookies, but for roasting vegetables, baking chicken drumsticks, and nearly everything else that I put into the oven. Nothing sticks to them! And mine is perfectly sized for my baking sheet. You can even get a combo set now! They also can go straight into the dishwasher.
These cookies are perfect for giving a hostess gift, nestled in a Christmas tin. They also freeze wonderfully for cookie cravings after the holidays.
Do Re Mi Cookies are part of the six recipes I’m sharing from my grandmothers this year. Here are the rest (more coming soon):
Do Re Mi Cookies
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1½ cups finely chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Place the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on high until fluffy, about 3–4 minutes.
- Add the vanilla and egg. Beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
- Whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, salt, and baking powder in a medium sized bowl. With the mixer running on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, ½ cup at a time. Continue to add the flour until it’s all incorporated.
- Place the finely chopped pecans (I used my food processor to chop them) in a small bowl. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in the pecans and place the balls 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 8–9 minutes, or until the edges are light brown and the cookie no longer looks wet in the center.
- Let cool for 5 minutes on the sheet pan. Remove the cookies and place on a wire rack to cool completely.