This is recipe from our cookbook, The Amish Cook at Home. Lovina writes about it: “This is an easy Christmas cookie that the kids like to cut out and decorate. It takes a lot longer when they help, but they enjoy it. Some of the shapes we cut them into include a Christmas tree and a bell. Sometimes I have to watch the younger children, as they like to eat the dough. But with the raw eggs in there I don’t like them to.”
The holidays are approaching and while the Amish don’t celebrate the season with lights, ornaments, and decorations they do observe the occasion. One of the ways in which they enjoy the season is through food. Amish kitchens begin to ramp up with homemade rolls, Christmas cookies, candies, fudge, and popcorn balls. If you want to start planning your baking early, this is a great recipe and the cookies – if kept in a sealed container – stay good for a long time. The photo is of Lovina’s children icing the cookies, yum!:) But I was busted by a reader, the photo below is of Lovina’s kids making “World’s Best Sugar Cookies”, my mistake, good eye, Teresa:) Still a cute photo, the Christmas cookie recipe appears below.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1½ cups sugar
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 3½ to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¹⁄3 cup shortening
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup milk
- Food coloring (optional)
- Colored sprinkles, for decorating (optional)
- Chocolate chips, for decorating (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Stir in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl and stir with a whisk to blend. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until a soft, firm dough is formed. Roll the dough out to a ½-inch thickness on a floured surface. Use your favorite shaped cookie cutters to cut out the dough. Place the shapes on the prepared pan.
Bake until golden brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
To make the frosting: Cream the shortening with the vanilla and 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Gradually add the milk and the rest of the powdered sugar, beating constantly. More powdered sugar can be added to give you your desired thickness. Food coloring can also be added if you like. Spread the frosting on the cookies and decorate with colored sprinkles or chocolate chips. Let the frosting set before storing.