Yes, I’m still alive.
It’s been a rough month since we are in the middle of potty training the tot, and I’ve been losing sleep and baking time due to her becoming afraid of the evil shadows lurking in her bedroom late at night. And amongst all the lack of slumber and the weekends full of family get-togethers, the lack of exercise, and nonstop go-go-go, I’ve been beat. And once again, my butt’s been hitting the couch almost every night…Zzzzzzzzzzz
But in spite of all the late-night shadow-slaying and soiled training pants, I did manage to squeeze in some baking time. I recently made sour cream cookies for a baby shower, and a couple others just to reduce some stress and satisfy my taste buds. The sour cream cookies are a hit with a lot of my friends and family. I no longer make them specifically for holidays. I’m making them almost monthly!
Back in the day, for 5 holidays out of the year, my mom would bake a bunch of cute, shaped sour cream cookies, spread frosting on them and top them with sprinkles or a piece of candy. When I asked to decorate the cookies, she took to the sidelines and let my imagination run wild. My best creations were always the Christmas cookies. I used 5 or 6 cookie cutters and maybe 5 or 6 pounds of frosting in all different colors and put in a lot of time and detail. The best part of it all is the frosting. I’m addicted to frosting! Give me a plain cookie and I’ll dip it in a bowl of frosting and chow down! Heck, just give me a large spoon and I’ll eat the frosting like it was applesauce! Not good for the hips, but buttercream is the best ever!
A couple years ago I entered into the world of royal frosting, which takes a little longer to decorate than buttercream, and I’ve been using decorating tips instead of store-bought tubes of frosting where you screw tips on them and start decorating, or carefully detail with butter knives. Yes, butter knives! Royal frosting is more time-consuming, but makes you more detail-oriented, which is a good thing. One of these days I’m going to go back to the buttercream/butter knife/store-bought frosting tubes option for old time’s sake. Maybe for the Christmas cookies!
Here are a few more cookies I’ve created recently…
SOUR CREAM COOKIES
2 sticks of margarine, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
4 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces sour cream (low fat works well, too)
1) Beat margarine and sugar in a large mixing bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extracts until well blended.
2) In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
3) Gradually mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients while gradually adding the sour cream, until well blended. Chill the dough for 2 hours.*
4) Roll dough out onto a floured surface, a small amount at a time, to about 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with desired cookie cutter, and carefully place onto a cookie sheet (One of the pictures above I poked holes into my dough with a fork in hopes it’ll keep the cookies flat while they bake…didn’t work much. Hey, it was worth a shot!).
5) Bake at 350-degrees for 10-12 minutes until the bottoms of the cookies are a light golden brown. Cool completely on wire racks and decorate!**
*If not needing to use the dough right away, you can chill it for 24 to 48 hours.
**The cookies freeze nicely, but only before frosting them. The longest I had them in the freezer was 3 months. I usually don’t do it, but you can freeze decorated cookies, but I seriously recommend placing wax paper on each layer to help prevent your cookies from sticking to each other.