Loretta Painter's Soft Sugar Cookies
Loretta Painter owns a restaurant and catering business in Stewardson, Illinois. She says that using margarine rather than butter keeps the cookies softer longer. I love this recipe because the cookies are indeed soft and chewy and have a wonderful flavor from the addition of sour cream. — Mimi
Yield: approximately 48 cookies
1 cup (250 ml) margarine
In a large mixing bowl, beat margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract; mix well. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Gradually stir the flour into the margarine mixture until well incorporated. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill several hours or until dough is firm enough to handle.
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). On a lightly floured board, roll out to about 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) thick and cut into shapes with cookie cutters.
Place on ungreased baking sheets and bake about 15 minutes or until edges are slightly browned. Let cool about 1 minute on the baking sheet and then remove to wire rack to cool completely. Decorate with your favorite icing (we recommend Royal Icing).
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month if not frosted or up to 1 week if frosted. Makes approximately 48 cookies, depending on the size cookie cutters you use. These cookies ship well if cut into regular geometric shapes (such as circles or squares) and packed very carefully. They can break during shipping if you cut them into irregular or delicate shapes like Santa Claus and snowflakes. If you want to use fancy cookie cutters, it is best to hand-deliver these cookies.
Source: Christmas Cookies Are for Giving by Kristin Johnson and Mimi Cummins. The book features 48 other great Christmas cookie recipes, plus baking tips, tips on packaging cookie gifts, tips on shipping cookies, and tips on making Gifts in a Jar.