On the Third Day of Christmas The Busty Baker baked for me… Sour Cream Cookies!
When you think holiday cookies, you usually think of flavors like gingerbread or peppermint, right? When I think of holiday cookies? Sour cream. Not very traditional, unless you grew up in my house. Every year my mom makes these cookies for Christmas, and no matter how many other holiday cookies I eat, these always end up being my favorite. My favorite cookies coming from the “baker” who for 22 years of my life melted butter in the microwave, threw all the ingredients in the same bowl at the same time, and beat them to a pulp with a hand mixer before dropping the dough on an overly greased griddle pan to bake? You bet.
I’m not sure where my mom acquired the recipe for these cookies. It can’t be an original recipe—with her baking methods, there’s just no way. But for years I remember her getting out that battle-scarred 4-by-6 index card, stained with butter spots and splatters of dough, and baking up a batch of cookies to send out as part of a mixed cookie plate. Our counter would be covered with cookies, cooling on top of a folded up sheet (we didn't believe in cooling racks), ready to assemble an assortment of goodies on paper plates to pass on to various family members. It wasn’t until I moved into my own apartment a couple years ago that I realized I never copied the recipe for myself. When my mom sent it to me in an email last Christmas so I could make my own batch, I was completely baffled. How had we used that recipe for so many years? The ingredient list was in no particular order. The directions? “Add the ingred. Blend w/mixer until creamy. Drop on lightly greased sheet. Bake at 350. Take out before the tops are brown.” No wonder my mom just threw everything in at the same time. I had to actually highlight the ingredients as I used them so I didn’t leave anything out or use it twice. But this year, I’ve rewritten my mom’s recipe to make more sense, so I can pass it on to you.
Cakey and moist, there’s a delicate balance between the sweetness of the cookie and the subtle tang of the sour cream. They’re very simple cookies. No perfection here. You can literally just throw everything in a bowl and beat it to a pulp, and they’ll still come out fine. These cookies don’t care if they’re not perfectly round. In fact, they’re more authentic if they’re lopsided blobs. And really, these cookies can be made any time of the year. They’re by no means “holiday” flavored. The only things that make them Christmas cookies in my mind are red and green sprinkles and a whole lot of memories. So enjoy. I know I will. :)
Sour Cream Cookies
My mom’s recipe
Makes about 3 dozen
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
Sanding sugar (optional)
Cinnamon-sugar mixture (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and sour cream, and blend until well mixed. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients, mixing until just blended.
4. With a heaping 1-inch cookie scoop or a heaping tablespoon, drop cookies onto prepared pans about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with sanding sugar or cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. (Bottom edges should be just slightly brown.) Let cool on pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.