German Sour Cream Twists

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Note: This dough must be prepared in advance and requires extra-large eggs. From Rosemary Hall of St. Louis Park.

• 3 1/2 c. flour

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1/2 c. shortening, chilled and cut into small pieces

• 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

• 1 package (1/4 oz.) dry yeast

• 3/4 c. sour cream

• 1 extra-large egg plus 2 extra-large egg yolks, well beaten

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

• 1 c. sugar, divided

Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening and butter, until mixture resembles coarse meal.

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast with 2 tablespoons warm water. Add yeast mixture, sour cream, beaten eggs and vanilla extract into flour mixture, stirring until thoroughly combined. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and refrigerate for 2 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove bowl from refrigerator and divide dough in half, keeping second portion refrigerated while preparing the first. Divide sugar in half.

On a sugared surface using a rolling pin, roll dough to an 8- by 16-inch rectangle. Working quickly, fold one end in and fold the other end to cover, as with an envelope fold. Sprinkle with sugar. Flip dough over and roll to the same 8- by 16-inch size. Fold again, sprinkle again, roll again. Repeat process a third time.

Sprinkle more sugar over the rolled dough. Cut into 1- by 4-inch strips. Twist each strip, stretching dough slightly. Repeat process with second half of dough.

Place twisted strips 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets and bake until lightly brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove cookies from oven and cool for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Variation: Use flavored sugars, such as vanilla, cinnamon or cardamom, for extra flavor.