Sour-cream sugar cookies

Featured in: "The Peaceful Season"

In a smaller bowl, mix:

½ cup plain sour cream (can use plain or vanilla yogurt in a pinch)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Add the wet ingredients to the dry; blend. Then mix in the last 1 1/2 cups of flour. Don’t over mix, or the dough may get tough. Once all the flour is worked in, this is a stiff dough and you might need to use your hands! Chill the dough, then roll out to about 1/4-inch thickness using flour on the work surface and rolling pin. Dust cookie cutters with flour before cutting shapes. Bake at 350 degrees, 8 to 10 minutes. Pull them out of the oven when they are dry on top but not yet brown. Cool on wire racks, frost and/or decorate.

5 1/2 cups flour (divided)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups sugar

Sift 4 cups flour and the rest of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Cut 1 1/2 cups shortening (3 sticks of margarine) into small cubes and blend into the flour mixture until the crumbs are smaller than the size of a pea. A pastry cutter works well for this.

This Schermann family special recipe is actually a holiday favorite of mine. My paternal great-grandmother always made these at Christmas. The special ingredient is sour cream. While these make tasty cutout cookies, you can also roll the dough in balls and flatten them for no-fuss baking. Frost/decorate them however you please. When January rolls around, I like to make “blizzard cookies” with this recipe. Start with flattened dough balls, bake, then top with cream cheese frosting and flaked coconut! Or make them the basis for any other holiday, like Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day or Easter.

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