Patterned Sugar Cookies


This Christmas, we're feeling especially excited about baking thanks to our latest kitchen addition-- the textured rolling pin above. Engraved in Poland from natural beechwood, these clever rollers make beautifully patterned cookies for snacking or decorating. Recently, we tried them out with a traditional sugar cookie recipe from terrain copywriter Caroline L. She says, "My grandmother loved Christmas and baked hundreds of cookies each year. Every kind was delicious, but she was best known for her crisp, buttery sugar cookies. Eventually, she got so many requests for the cookies that she started selling them every year; she would bake dozens and dozens for friends and neighbors. I only make one or two batches each Christmas, but I love carrying on the tradition." If you can manage to put a few aside for decorative use, try rolling herb sprigs-- like the rosemary shown above-- into the cookies before baking. 

Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup soft butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar to garnish

Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix well and set aside flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, beat butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and sour cream until fluffy. Gradually add flour mixture. Wrap and refrigerate overnight. Grease cookie sheets. Roll 1/4 dough at a time and cut into shapes as desired. Use 1/4 cup sugar to sprinkle on top after placing cookies on sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Be sure that oven is fully preheated before baking; pattern will melt and disappear at lower temperatures.

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