Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

My little sister is graduating from high school this weekend. This means that she is now property of the beast known as the Real World, but (much more importantly) this also means she is having a graduation party. With cake. And ice cream. And cookies.


My sister has been a ballet dancer for over ten years, so these cookies are an ode to her and her many accomplishments. The ballerinas are doing a lovely arabesque (yes, I did have to ask exactly what that pose was). How my sister can balance on the tips of her toes will continue to remain a great mystery to me. It appears to defy everything I know about physics. And I know a lot about physics.

So, dear sister, congratulations and good luck for the future! My first advice to you as a diploma carting member of society is to keep these cookies far away from me or you will not get the chance to bite off some itty bitty ballerina limbs for yourself.

These sugar cookies are sweet (but not too sweet), soft, and fluffy. They puff up nicely in the oven and stay that way. Forever. Your sugar cookies no longer have to be two-dimensional! Flower petals can really blossom. Pumpkins can have the correct dimensionality. Santa Claus can have the appropriate amount of chub. The possibilities are truly endless. Now go forth and be creative.

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Makes approximately 5 dozen cookies

4 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together sugar and shortening until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, blending after each addition. Then mix in the sour cream and vanilla. Add the flour mixture in three steps, combining well in-between. Chill dough for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut cookies into shapes. Refrigerate dough when not in use for the best consistency. If the same amount of dough is rolled out twice or thrice, each subsequent roll out will make the dough (and your cookies) a little more lumpy. This, of course, can be covered with frosting if so desired.

Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes.