Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
Holiday baking, with benevolent cookie giving galore, is when I’m able to try out recipes and compare different doughs. Those receiving my cookies are basically unsuspecting guinea pigs to my confectionery comparisons and trials.
I know the holidays are about tradition, but I get sick of using the same recipes with the same methods year after year. With the plethora of recipes out there, why limit myself to one? I have to make four different doughs anyway. I might as well see what the slight differences can do to the structure and taste of the the sugar cookies.
I compared several basic sugar cookie recipes. Each had a slight variation in the moistener. Some had eggs, some didn’t, some had sour cream or cream cheese, or butter. I even tested some gingerbread sugar cookie doughs for good effect.
To me, the sugar cookies need to live up to some sorts of standard. For one sugar cookies has to taste as pretty as they look. I wanted to work with royal icing this year, so I wanted a thick sugar cookie that wouldn’t spread. I also I’m one for a tender bite. Too many times I’ve bitten into a sugar cookie that was as dry as a biscotti (and not in a good way). I shouldn’t have to dip my sugar cookie into milk to soften.
Any recipe with confectioner’s sugar was out. Though tender and tasty, such doughs were too thin and crumbled under the weight of the icing. Recipes with ample leaveners were also out. Large amounts of either baking powder and/or baking soda caused the doughs to puff and spread.
After baking off and frosting batches and batches of cookies, the winner of the cookie baking saga was the sour cream sugar cookies. This dough held it’s shape, didn’t spread, held frosting, and still was very tender. Additionally, the sour cream sugar cookies were extremely flavorful. The tang from the sour cream cut through the sharp sweetness of the frosting and keep the cookie moist for days.
You don’t have to limit yourself to Christmas baking. This recipe for sour cream sugar cookies is applicable and usable for other holidays as well. The recipe—from Allrecipes—was only adapted to the slightest degree. I read reviews of the recipe and I omitted the nutmeg and increased the vanilla. Seriously you can never go wrong with more vanilla.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup(2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.
- Beat in the egg, vanilla and sour cream until well blended.
- Stir in the sifted ingredients. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to ¼ inch in thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 1½ inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.