My Mom always worked, as far back as I can remember. At Christmas time she would come home from work and set up a TV tray and start working on her Christmas cards, writing long elaborate letters. She also baked her repertoire of cookies and candies that were the same every year. My favorite cookies were the simple sour cream cookies that she made. They weren’t too sweet and almost were like crackers and the best part was that she would open up the drawer that contained all her cookie cutters. :) She had cutters for every holiday, lots of animals, and since socializing at that time included lots of card games, cutters for the suits too. I always liked playing with the cookie cutters and it seemed like it was easy to pick out too many shapes for the dough recipe.
I think I liked this recipe though, because my Mom always told me stories of getting to help her Mom make these cookies. Her mom had purchased a new Crisco cookbook when my Mom was 10, and these cookies came from that book. The recipe fit in well on a farm too, because if you have a dairy cow, sour cream is always at hand. They probably were easy on the pocketbook too, being not so sweet, therefore making more cookies with the same amount of sugar as other recipes.
When I made these cookies today, I discovered I still have the same problem as when I was a kid. How could I possibly pick out which cutters to use. I have since added cookie cutters that suit my interests. Which to choose? I decided to tell a story with my cookies today like I did when I was little. I eat my m & m’s in color order, so using cookie cutters really appeals to my OCD. (which today might mean Obsessive Cookie Disorder)
Vintage and not so vintage cookie cutters.
My Grandmother’ Crisco Cookbook – A Calendar of Dinners, with 615 Recipes. published by Crisco, 1921. First printing 1913.
The Story of Crisco. (Insert gagging sound here)
White Cookies (sounds boring huh?)
2 c sugar
1 c Crisco (my Mom always used butter, I do too)
1/2 c thick sour milk or cream (you can use a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice to sour sweet milk)
2 eggs, beaten
1 t baking soda, mix with sour milk
1 t salt
1 t vanilla
1/2 lemon extract (my Mom always used almond)
5 cups flour
Cream Crisco and sugar together, add eggs well beaten, milk and soda mixture, salt, extracts and flour. Roll very thin, cut with cookie cutters. Bake on Criscoed tins, in a moderately hot oven for about 5 minutes. When cooled place in tins and these will keep for weeks in a cool place. Recipe sufficient for 90 cookies.
Modern notes: preheat oven to 350F, bake for about 6-8 minutes, switching cookie sheets from top to bottom and end to end halfway through the baking time. I bake with parchment paper, so a greased cookie sheet is not necessary. I baked mine in the cookstove today, so times will vary depending on your fire. It just takes practice and a watchful eye.
Silly cookie story depicted like stumpwork embroidery. (scale not important)
One December day a little girl (not shown)decided to go to the woods to gather some holly for decorations. She also wanted to pick out a Christmas tree. She gathered her axe and a dog treat for her two dogs. It was a dark winter day, she was almost sure she could hear coyotes howling at the moon and the stars, how would she make it through the shamrock colored forest to find a tree? Well eat the coyote of course! And then chop down the tree!
Told you I was weird ;)