AMISH CHRISTMAS COOKIES
Amish Christmas Cookies: I'm sure many of you are in the midst of a baking blitz this time of year. So I thought I'd share a popular recipe from The Amish Cook's Baking Book that you can consider adding to your recipe repertoire. The Amish don't often participate in the commercial congestion of the holidays, but they do contribute culinary traditions. They'll celebrate the season with homemade fudge or festive cookies. This is one of The Amish Cook's recipes and her children icing the cookies. Sheesh, how long ago the photo seems...
The Amish typically celebrate holidays in very no-frills fashion. In most Amish homes you won’t find Christmas trees, giant plastic snowmen, or boughs of holly strung across the mantle. The Amish mostly reject these more secular trappings of the holiday. Generally, the only holiday decorations I’ve seen in Amish homes are, perhaps, some Christmas cards with snow scenes or reindeer taped to the wall or sitting on the mantel. Wrapped gifts are exchanged in some settlements where the tradition has caught on, but other communities don’t practice it. Amish communities vary great from place to place depending on local traditions and the individual bishop.
One way in which the Amish do express their celebration of the season is through food. Come November and December, Amish cooks fire up the kitchen to create all sorts of holiday confections. And while the Amish mostly avoid exchanging gifts bought at big box stores (or even little box stores!), a decorative tin filled with homemade cashew crunch or maple fudge are often given to friends as gifts.
These Christmas cookies make great gifts and holiday snacks!
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
I'm sure many of you are in the midst of a baking blitz this time of year. So I thought I'd share a popular recipe from The Amish Cook's Baking Book. The Amish don't often participate in the commercial congestion of the holidays, but they do contribute culinary traditions. They'll celebrate the season with homemade fudge or festive cookies. This is one of The Amish Cook's recipes and her children icing the cookies. Sheesh, how long ago the photo seems...