A couple of weeks ago, I said I'd post my family Christmas cookie recipe, in response to a query by Mrs. Smith. I got a little caught up and couldn't get to it before now, but here it is. Btw, I checked with the relatives, and yes, it is definitely a Norweigian recipe, even though it doesn't sound traditional, what with the frosting and all. I have to note that this is my family's favorite recipe, EVER, and we rarely share it ;-) It came from my father's mother, who grew up in the Dakotas (she was born in 1910); her family was originally from Norway. Makes a cakey cookie, which keeps very well with the cream-based frosting.
5-6 C. flour, 6 scant tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt, mixed together in a bowl. Keep separate for now.
1 tsp. baking soda, mixed into 1 C. sour cream. Keep separate for now.
1/2 C. crisco and 1/2 C. butter, creamed together with 2 C. white sugar. Add 4 eggs and 1 tsp. vanilla.
Mix flour mixture and sour cream mixture into butter/sugar/egg mixture. Chill overnight to firm up dough. (I've made the cookies the same night, sticking dough in the freezer to briefly chill, but the dough is easier to work with if well chilled, overnight).
Once chilled, roll out dough (in batches), with enough flour so it doesn't stick, to about 1/4 inch thick (you don't want them too thin . . . my aunt probably makes them 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick, which results in a fairly cakey cookie), and cut cookies with cookie cutters (candy canes, snowmen, christmas trees, stars, etc) and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Keep dough in fridge while rolling out (we have stories of relatives trying to make these cookies in the blazing hot days of summer, and they're not pretty ;-).
Bake cookies at 375 deg. for 7 minutes or so, until a little golden on the bottom (don't let them get dark on the top at all). Cool well. Can wait overnight to frost the next day, but I've done them the same night -- just make sure they're cool.
1 cube butter
1/2 C. whipping cream, slightly warmed. (Have some extra cream on hand for consistency, if too thick.)
1 box powdered sugar
1 tps vanilla
Mix frosting ingredients together. Can add more cream for consistency, although if the frosting is a little runny, that's okay (it will form a hard outer layer once on the cookie, but will stay smooth and creamy inside).
Frost cookies with a fairly thick layer of frosting (use your judgment, they shouldn't be meagerly frosted; I'd estimate about an 1/8 to a 1/4 inch thick). Decorate with sprinkles (we used to use those silver dragees along with red and green sugar sprinkles. Apparantly dragees are no longer legally edible, but they still sell them at Sur Le Table, and they do look pretty). Let frosted cookies set on a rack; then store in cookie containers, in single layers, separated by wax paper. These keep pretty well (I've never tried to freeze, but they do keep for several weeks unrefrigerated).
(C) Dana Butler
I grew up with these cookies, and among the various varieties I've made for friends during the holidays, these are ALWAYS favorites. Enjoy!