Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sour Cream Cookie night!! (plus recipe) Happy Holidays Baking

I LOVE baking for Christmas.

I enjoy all the mixing and prepping and frosting and sprinkling that is involved. I love coming into work every day with a plate of goodies and seeing the joy and happiness and delight in my coworkers as the sugar rush kicks in.

 I have always been a goodies maker/giver and it is something I really look forward to. I believe I have been this way since I was little. Not everyone has this in them, so if you don't want to give these away, who am I to judge?? There have been times I have contemplated hoarding these under my bed and retreating to my room for "a nap".

 Now, my favorite tradition of the Christmas season  is Sour Cream Cookie Night!. I have been making these since I was old enough to help out with the decorating.  My mom has been making these for as long as I can remember. And HER mom used to make them.  Grandmas cookies used to be frosted and then sprinkled with those metal ball candy things that would almost break your teeth. Good memories.

The thing I LOVE about these cookies, is the amount of sweetness.  The cookie itself is not very sweet. It is actually quite subtle. The sour cream gives it a smooth tang, and since there is only about 2 cups of sugar for the entire batch (i can get 100 cookies out of a batch, rolled thin), the sweet level is quite low.  BUT they are so tasty by themselves as well.  They aren't quite a sugar cookie, because there really isn't enough sugar in them, but they aren't a regular cookie either. Kind of a mix, really. This is a great cookie to use a sweet vanilla frosting with, because the sweet of the icing really pairs well with the mellowness of the cookie.  Just a wonderful treat.  I have brought them into work the past 3 years and when I came in with the plate this year one of them actually clapped and said "Oh yay, I was waiting for these. They're my favorite!"  Mine too.

So every year I mix up a batch of this dough and we spend an hour rolling, cutting and baking.
This year we purchased 3 tubs of frosting. A white, a red and a green.  (you can also make a powdered sugar frosting and color it yourself, but that was just waaaaaayyy too much work involved this year for me.)
The red and green came with a small variety of holiday sprinkles. We also had a carousel jar with the various sprinkles and sugars and confetti's.   We were set.
You can get anywhere from 60 to 100 cookies out of a batch of dough, it really depends on how thick you roll it.  I roll my dough somewhat thin for a little bit thinner cookie. Sometimes I will go a little thicker to get a meatier, denser bite. I used to make them REALLY thick and they would be puffy and huge, but then you almost need to add a huge wad of frosting to swallow it, because the bigger they get the drier they seem to be. If they are too thick and puffy it's almost like trying to swallow crackers with no saliva in your mouth.

a plate full of holiday goodies!

Sprinkle-y goodness!
 So get your table  set up with strategically placed tubs of frosting and sprinkles (works well with kids.)  Make sure you have plenty of napkins handy because temptation to lick your fingers will be unbearable!! If these are for your own personal pleasure, then lick away. However, I try and keep my spit to myself when making these cookies for others...(LOL Winky face)

Now on to the nitty gritty.  How much "STUFF" do you slather on??
You can add as much or as little frosting as you like. These cookies are all about personal preference.  we use a decent amount. Nothing crazy. Just enough to keep the cookie to frosting ratio equal. You can do less if you are trying to watch your sugar intake, or more if you are trying to induce a sugar coma.

You can use premade from a can(guilty), or you can make your own with powdered sugar. i don't know if you can use other flavors, I would think that a strawberry frosting would be quite tasty, and perhaps even chocolate. But traditionally we use just the white/vanilla frosting.
Keep cookies in a Tupperware or in gallon Ziploc baggies after the frosting has set. They will dry out if you leave them out in the open too long.
I am the first to admit, my kids don't have mad decorating skills, (or patience) so they aren't the prettiest. But they are still so tasty.

I ALWAYS get asked for the recipe whenever i make them for any function or goodies plate. So here it is.... THIS RECIPE IS ALL ABOUT PERSONAL PREFERENCE.  So use the smallest amount for the minimum and can tweak to a larger amount depending on what you like. remember, the thinner you roll, the more cookies you get. I use the basic christmas cookie cutter set from walmart. It has like 6 different cookie shapes, comes in a nylon mesh sac and was only 2 dollars or so.

                                                                    THE RECIPE:

2 sticks BUTTER (you can use margarine,, but butter bakes and tastes better IMO)
1 1/2 - 2 cups granulated sugar (I use about 1 2/3 cup, but that is a personal taste preference)
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream (full fat, not the fat free, it doesn't bake the same, I don't know why. I haven't had success with fat free sour cream in this recipe)
1 - 2 tsp vanilla (I use 1 1/2 tsp)

Cream all these ingredients together.

In a separate bowl combine
5 1/2  to 6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

gradually add this flour mixture into the creamed butter/sugar. Dough will become thick, and will be slightly sticky. You can add flour a little at a time to each batch of dough you will be rolling to make it manageable if it is too sticky.
consistently flour your  rolling surface and rolling pin really well to keep dough from sticking.
Roll dough to desired thickness. I roll between 1/8 and 1/4" for thinner consistency cookies. The thicker you roll the puffier and bigger your cookies will be.

Place on greased baking sheets.
Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until Bottoms and edges are a nice golden brown.

Cool and then frost/decorate and eat!!
(or don't wait and try one warm from the oven. yuuummmmmmm)

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