Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sugar Cookie Tradition

It's hustle & bustle time here on the snowy hillside
 in southern Indiana.
Most of my shopping is finished, decorating is done,
 simply by me saying..."that's it"!,
some gifts are wrapped,
with more to box up, 
& I still have some baking to do.

I promised myself that I wouldn't do so much decorating this year-but it's hard to get out of that frame of mind
when you have done it for years.
I packed up my garland for the stairway & gave it to my daughter,
I sorted through some ratty looking decorations
& hauled them to Goodwill,
and then found myself with a cart full of glitter & Mercury glass
for a new look.
. . . I'll show you later . . .

But that isn't what this post is about.

Years ago, when we lived in Kansas,
& I worked for Montgomery Wards,
a friend game me a recipe for sugar cookies.
I was a fairly new bride & not the best cook in the world,
but made a big hit with my hubby
when I baked a batch of these sugar cookies.
That must have been about 1969 to 1970.
And I don't think I've missed very many Christmas's
baking them since.

They aren't extremely sweet,
and when freshly baked
are a soft cookie.
I think the sour cream is what makes them so good.

And I always use pure vanilla, not vanilla extract.

The batter is sticky when mixed & needs to be chilled.
And while working with the dough, I sometimes pop the bowl
back in the fridge for a little while to chill again.

Since I've become an expert at making these...
I will tell you my little secret.
I have found that you must work a lot of flour into the dough
as you are working with it,
& I only take out enough dough to make
a couple of cookies at a time.
Much easier to handle this way!

My cookie cutters are almost as old as my recipe
& I always make stars & bells.
I have a tree shaped cutter, but it is larger & harder to handle.

Bob doesn't like iced cookies.
So...we have colored sugar sprinkles on all of our cookies!
I've tried to sneak in the different shaped sprinkles
but he says the colored sugars are the best.
Oh don't want to ruin a good thing!

They may not be as decorative as the iced ones,
but they don't last long enough around my house to matter.
This platter was shared at our Sunday School Class party
& that is all of the baking that I have gotten around to this year!
So...come this week, I'm going to get my cookie cutters back out
& make at least one more batch.

And now you know the story of my sugar cookie tradition.
I remember taking a plate of these to my Grandma Fulkerson
when she was in the nursing home.
I also remember borrowing train shaped cutters
& sending a platter of them to work with Bob
at Rock Island Railroad.


Note. . .
The brown lidded crock in the top photo
 belonged to my Mom
& when I was a little girl, it was where she kept her sugar.
Several years ago she brought it to me & I treasure it.
It usually sits on a shelf in our family room.

Recipe for Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup "oleo"--I usually use butter
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda-dissolve in sour cream
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups flour

Mix sugar, butter, eggs, sour cream, & vanilla until well blended.
Add flour 1 cup at a time, mixing well.
Cover & chill.
Keep balance of dough in refrigerator while cutting out cookies.
It needs quite a bit of flour worked in as you cut out cookies.
Sprinkle with sugar crystals.
Bake in 350 degree oven about 10 minutes, until lightly browned.
Cool on wire rack.


Karen Walden said...

They are yummy and I'll be looking forward to eating some again on Christmas day!
(You might have to run a few over to Chuck and Mary Jane too!) :)

The Farmer's Daughter said...

This recipe looks very similar to mine, Sheila! I use Crisco instead of butter, 1 cup of sugar instead of 2 and 5 cups flour and also 2 tsp baking powder otherwise everything else is the same, oh, and I up the vanilla to 2 tsp. I'll have to try yours. I was going to post the recipe if I have time...we'll see! I expect everyone will have had their cookies baked by the time I get to it! Have a wonderful Christmas! ~Cheryl