Grace Fumerton’s family said their matriarch was a proficient baker who had the ability to make delicious pies, cakes and breads.
But the mother-of-eight’s claim to fame was a cookie recipe that combined chocolate chips, walnuts and oats to make the perfect baked treat.
The cookies, called “Damn Good Cookies” by her family, were so popular that when Fumerton passed away from Alzheimer’s disease in 2012, her daughter, Debbie, made some and handed them out along with the recipe at her funeral.
“It was a symbol of her love of family,” Margaret Chung, who is married to one of Fumerton’s grandchildren, Jesse Fumerton, told TODAY Food. “It was such a touching moment, as everyone could enjoy one of Grace’s special treats together and also have the recipe to pass down and make again and again.”
Chung says she’s remained touched by the special tribute, so she recently did her own passing down of the cookie recipe, sharing it in the Old_Recipes subreddit.
Redditors have jumped in on the cookie love, making their own versions of “Damn Good Cookies.” I, too, gave the cookies a try and they were, unsurprisingly, pretty damn good.
The basic ingredients of a cookie are there: brown and white sugar, eggs and butter. But, combined with chocolate chips, oats and walnuts, which Chung wrote in her Reddit post were “very optional,” the cookies take on an extraordinary flavor.
Still, wanting to be authentic to Fumerton’s recipe, I added the chopped walnuts, and found they gave the cookies a salty crunch that really brought them together.
Fresh from the oven, the cookies were gooey in the center and packed with swoon-worthy flavor.
Fumerton’s son, Chung’s father-in-law, Rod, says most of his childhood memories involve his mother baking and he and his siblings eating the famous cookies.
“Mom always had a jar of these cookies in her kitchen,” he told TODAY. “I don’t remember having bought bread when we were little, either. We always had white and molasses brown bread — Dad used to buy 50-pound bags of flour.”
Chung says Fumerton was a military wife who moved frequently, living in Germany for a few years before settling in Canada.
“They were living on one income, so money was always tight,” said Chung, “but she always made sure her eight kids had lots to eat and that everyone knew how much they were loved.”
Chung says she’s continued the cookie tradition with her own daughter, Mia.
“The recipe is so easy and straightforward,” she said, “it’s one of the first things I let my daughter ‘help’ me bake when she was really little.”
Chung also says she’s loved seeing Fumerton’s recipe gain popularity on Reddit.
“I am so happy that so many people found this on the Old_Recipes subreddit and left so many kind messages and comments,” she said. “I think it’s a great recipe and I love the connection to family that it represents. I think Grace would be so pleased that her recipe is living this new life online.”