Fry: Hey, you know what always cheers you up? Baking me a nice tray of sugar cookies!
Grandma Mildred: (ripping open her dress) How about these cookies, sugar?
– Roswell that Ends Well (Futurama season 4 episode 1)
Roswell that Ends Well is an Emmy-winning episode of Futurama that began as an idea for an “Anthology of Interest” short. We’re all grateful (all of us) that it was expanded into its own full episode, because the season four premiere is a tour-de-force that features a joke equal parts hilarious and disgusting, as we learn that Fry goes back in time to become his own grandpa after accidentally killing the man he thought had claim to the title. Let’s take a step back to appreciate how difficult a joke like that must be to pull off; the writers not only landed it, but it became one of the all-time jokes of the series, and one of the few times different episodes would reference specific jokes from a previous show.
Unlike many of the previous Futurama recipes on this site, sugar cookies don’t play a big role in Roswell that Ends Well, and they are only referenced once, never seen or eaten on screen. Who can say what grandma Mildred’s sugar cookies were really like, and if she baked them for young Fry in the 1980s because of their ill-fated conversation in the 1940s, but I thought it would be worthwhile to give the classic cookie a shot here in 2017.
I was fortunate enough to stumble upon some Futurama-themed cookie cutters when looking for recipe ideas. These gems are most certainly not authorized, but I guess as 3-D printers become more affordable, things like this are bound to happen. I took a chance and placed an order, and a few weeks later they arrived in all their glory. They look great and I was anxious to try them out.
- 3 1/4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup shortening
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients on medium speed in an electric mixer. Shape mixed ingredients into a ball with your hands. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease cookie sheet.
Remove dough from refrigerator and split into thirds (return unused dough to fridge). On floured rolling mat, roll dough to desired thickness (for crisp cookies, roll paper thin). Cut with floured cookie cutter. Place 1/2 inch apart on cookie sheet. Repeat with other refrigerated dough.
Note: My dough was very crumbly, so I added another 1 Tablespoon of milk while shaping it into a ball. Temperature and humidity can affect this, so play it by ear.
Bake 8-10 minutes, until very lightly brown. Cool on wire rack.
Optional: rub tops with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. I chose not to as I didn’t want to obscure the cookie cutter images.
Morbo Gives It:
9/10 Delivery Boys. Sugar cookies are a what-you-see-is-what-you-get treat. They’re simple and pretty easy to make, although they can be time consuming, especially if you’re using cookie cutters and not just making round cookies.
Tale. Of. Interest!
As a result of Fry becoming his own grandfather in this episode, he lacks delta brainwaves, which comes in handy when up against Brain Spawn, and perhaps even Brain Slugs.
Fry’s act of debauchery is specifically mentioned in at least two other episodes: The Why of Fry (“I did do the nasty in the pasty”) and The Late Philip J. Fry (“That way you can’t accidentally change history, or do something like sleep with your own grandmother.”)