I feel like I need to do a little clearing of the air before I continue with this post. I’m starting with a disclaimer telling you that this is NOT a healthy cookie…there’s nothing the least bit redeeming about the ingredients in this recipe. It contains loads of sugar, shortening, sour cream, and all-purpose flour…none of which I typically include in my day to day diet. But…there is also something to be said for traditions…and this cookie has been a Christmas family tradition for at least 5o years. I know it’s been at least that long, because I remember helping my mom make them when I was quite young!
Once I had my first child, my mom passed the
baton rolling pin to me (as her mom did to her, and at least another generation back as well), and I’ve been in charge of the Christmas cookie baking for the past 30 years or so. These cookies are tender, fluffy, sweet, everything a good sugar cookie should be! They’ve even won a blue ribbon from the Dakota County, Nebraska County Fair! While the cookies are delicious on their own, the real magic happens when they’re topped with the Freezing Frosting…so named, oddly enough, because it freezes extremely well. 😉 That means you can make these cookies weeks or even months in advance, pull them out to thaw for a few hours, and they’re still as fresh as the day you baked them!
Because this is a simple recipe that doesn’t require chilling, it’s perfect for making with the kids – the dough is forgiving enough for over zealous pre-schoolers learning to cut shapes with cookie cutters, as well as pre-teens learning to wield a rolling pin! The recipe makes 5 to 6 dozen cookies, depending on the size and shape of the cutters used. I most always get at least 5 dozen. One batch of frosting is enough to frost all the cookies with a generous amount of icing.
My son making these cookies when he was 3 years old.
My daughter at age 3.
Daughter, Anna, age 3 and son, Jake, age 14!
And today, I’m blessed to have my 11 year old granddaughter, Madison, helping me!
Here’s my brother helping Anna decorate cookies in 2008. Honestly I think he enjoys it as much as the kids!
A few words on a card…sometimes the simplest things that connect one generation to the next!
And of course, for as long as I can remember these were the cookies that were set out for Santa every Christmas Eve! Good ol’ Santa has probably eaten almost as many of these cookies over the years as I have! 😉
My hope is that you’ll take this recipe as your own and start a new tradition that lasts for generations into the future. I know that eventually my daughter and my granddaughter will carry on the tradition for our family. But until then, I’m honored to keep the tradition alive for our family…there’s more to these cookies than the pantry ingredients contained within…the love of many generations of women in my family is the most important ingredient of all!
- 1 cup Crisco shortening
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 5-6 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking sofa
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 lb. powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup Crisco shortening
- Speck salt
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- Vanilla to taste
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or large mixing bowl if mixing by hand, cream shortening, sugar, and eggs.
- Add sour cream and vanilla, blend well.
- Mix in 2 cup of flour, salt, and baking soda.
- Add remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough is tender, and no longer sticky.
- Working with 1/3 of the dough at a time, roll it on a floured surface until 1/4 to 3/8 inches thick.
- Cut desired shapes and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly browned, and the tops are set, but not browned.
- Remove from oven, cool a couple minutes on baking sheet, then remove to cooling rack or foil lined counter to cool completely.
- Continue rolling, cutting, and baking in the same manner until all dough is used.
- Combine all ingredients and mix well in stand mixer, or with hand mixer.
- Add additional water 1/2 tsp at a time if frosting is too dry.
- Frost cooled cookies and decorate as desired with colored sugar and sprinkles.
- The key to these cookies turning out perfectly is to not overbake them. The tops should not be browned at all.
- These cookies freeze extremely well either before or after frosting. Simply place in plastic freezer safe container, stacking cookies with wax paper in between each layer.