Combine sugar, shortening, and eggs. Add sour milk, and vanilla. Sift in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg. Chill overnight.
Roll out on well-floured surface and cut with cookie cutter.
For filled cookies, use 1 teaspoon filling between 2 cookies (see recipes below), and seal edges with warm water before placing on ungreased cookie sheet. For unfilled cookies, just bake on ungreased cookie sheet, and then decorate cooled cookies with icing (see below). Bake at 350.
Raisin Filling: Combine 1 pound raisins with 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon mace, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1 cup water. Bring to boil and thicken with a little cornstarch.
Date Filling: Combine 1 pound chopped dates with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to boil.
Icing: Beat 1/4 pound butter with 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, 3 cups confectioners sugar, and approximately 1/2 cup milk. Put into separate little dishes and add different color of food coloring to each dish to decorate cooled, unfilled cookies.
My grandma made these cookies every year when I was a child, and I have made them every year since I have been grown.
Balloon head-gear is optional.
Napping while the dough chills is optional.
Burning your arm when removing the cookies from the oven is optional.
Flouring the dog is optional.
Men and boys will definitely paint cookies.
Because they taste EXACTLY like Christmas!