Mom’s Sour Cream Sugar Cookies 21

Hanuka (Hanukkah / Chanuka / Chanukkah) is coming, and I’ve been searching my brain for an interesting recipe to contribute. We aren’t really big fans of frying, although we love dairy. It’s been tough to find a food I want to write about because we don’t eat a lot of “fancy” traditional food. Don’t get me wrong, we’re making (plain potato) latkes and (standard jelly filled) sufganiyot for the holiday, but they are straight recipes with nothing other than their rarity exciting about them. Well, there will be raspberry chocolate pudding (made with raspberry liquor and a box of milk chocolate pudding mix!)  in some of the donuts…

For this blog party, I wanted to contribute something fun. At first, I settled on fried apple rings, like these:

Do you know Greek tradition holds that the Maccabees ate apples at their Hanuka feast? Well, I just reread that, and thought it would be interesting to share…only we don’t eat a lot of fried foods, so we’ll save our yearly fry-o-ganza for latkes and donuts. And there is no way mine would look as pretty as that professional photo – on the internet, at least. 😉

Then I thought about the cute and cool edible dreidels with pretzels, marshmallows, and hershey’s kisses, like these.

While we do like candy a LOT around here, we get more than enough of that. (But there are links to both of those recipes since they sound so cool – just click the pictures if you’re interested!)

So, on to something we know well around here: Mom’s Sugar cookies. Well, that’s what I call them. One of my sisters, who is an expert at making them for all family gatherings, insists on “Sour Cream Cookies.” There is sour cream in them, and sugar, so you can call them which ever you want! (Note: I have made these parve with “fake” sour cream, and it was good, but we almost always make them dairy. And Hanuka is a dairy holiday, so it fits right in!)

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

(makes 5 dozen medium cookies)

  • 1 C shortening
  • 2 C sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 C sour cream
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1.5 t baking soda
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 4.5 C flour

The way my mom told it to me was to mix everything together until smooth, 😉

Since one secret to good cookies is evenly mixing the fat and sugar, I take that to mean the instructions are:

Cream together shortening and sugar. Add in eggs, vanilla, and sour cream. Then add dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Now, this is a very soft dough, so it’s time to chill out. For the dough, that is. Usually, I chill it overnight, but however long it takes to set up a little more works. You can add more flour, but you’re losing tenderness in your cookies, so try to get it just to the point that you can roll it with a dusting of flour out and leave it there.

When it’s time to bake, preheat your oven to 350F. Roll the dough out thinly (you can experiment with how thick you like them) and cut with a floured glass for circles or cutters for shapes.

Put them on a baking sheet covered with a silpat or parchment paper. They will rise a little, but not too much, so they can be put pretty close together.

If you will frost them, that’s it. If you don’t want to frost them, then sprinkle them with sugar now. Then bake until very light brown around the edges and cool on a rack.

Now to frosting: We’ve done a super-basic buttercream with just butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla or a more involved buttercream. We’ve done a somewhat complicated royal icing, and even envisioned trying a Swiss meringue buttercream.

But the best to us is the snow-white Wilton buttercream recipe, with just a hint of almond flavor.

Color away, and then set out bowls of colors and have a cookie frosting party! (That’s some sugar being colored along the bottom of the picture – just sugar plus food coloring, then mix.)

Decorating fun:

Don’t forget the sprinkles, chocolate chips, and cinnamon imperials. (And m&ms, crushed English toffee, jelly, edible glitter, colored sugar…) I think I’ll make a small batch of royal icing so we can decorate some with our food coloring markers.

This time, I tripled the recipe, since rolling out cookies is time consuming. It’s easier for me to just do a bunch at once, and then frost at different times depending on the event.  We made about 2/3 round, many of which I’m freezing for later frosting fun. The cutters in the white frosting picture are cookie cutters I picked up in a Jewish store. I find them a little too small, think bite-sized, but the kids enjoyed them.

You can see some of our designs. For sugar cookies, you can even mostly cut a second shape inside the first – don’t actually cut it out, but go about 2/3 of the way down.

Sprinkle with sugar and bake. (Or you can just frost over it, if, say…you forgot to sprinkle with sugar…)

We also made these pretty cookies.

We frosted the cookies one color and then put a smaller cutter on top, sprinkled in some colored sugar, shook it some so it spread around, and the dumped off any extra.

We also tried swirls and sprinkles (4th of July colors…but that’s what we have).

Now to storage. This is a cookie that keeps pretty well, in the freezer or out on the counter. But the frosting is kind of soft and can spread. So you should make a layer of cookies in your container.

Top it with some parchment paper and another layer of cookies.

Keep going until you’ve filled your container. And that’s it! Put a plate of cookies on the table for all to share. (This is a beautiful table runner one of my Grandmas quilted for our wedding – and don’t worry, it’s under plexiglass!)

My helpers helped with the first few roll-outs and a good deal of the frosting, and we had lots of fun with the designs. And the tasting, of course. This is a fun family activity AND dessert. And did I mention it’s fun?

Now, on to the first ever Hanukkah Blog Party, hosted by Leah of Cook Kosher and Miriam of Overtime Cook. It’s traditional on Hanukkah to eat fried treats, most notably donuts and latkes, and we’ve got a fabulous array of Hanukkah themed recipes, treats and crafts from Jewish bloggers all over the world! Scroll down for links to all of the delicious treats. 

To help get everyone into party mode, we have a bunch of fabulous new cookbooks to giveaway! Leave a comment on this post for your chance to win one of:

2 copies of Susie Fishbein’s new Kosher By Design Cooking Coach (sponsored by Artscroll)

2 copies of Leah Schapira’s  Fresh and Easy Kosher Cooking (sponsored by Artscroll) 

2 copies of Esther Deutch’s CHIC Made Simple (sponsored by the author)

Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on Sunday, December 16th. Limit one entry per person per blog, so visit the other blogs for extra chances to win!  Prizes can only be shipped within the US. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address in order to qualify.

(Giveaway has closed.)

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post telling us about your favorite Hanuka tradition.

This is the second of many fabulous Holiday Blog Parties. If you would like to be added to the mailing list to participate in future parties, please

Stop by the other blogs and check out these Chanukah Themed Recipes:

Jamie from Joy of Kosher made Zucchini Latkes with Tzatziki

Daniel from Peikes Cookbook made Potato and Fennel Latkes Fried in Duck Fat With Chinese Five Spice Apple Sauce
Susan from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen made Squash and Potato Latkes
Samantha from The Little Ferraro Kitchen made Ruby Red Beet Latkes with Cumin
Nechamah from TIforOA Food Ideas made Healthy Oatmeal Latkes
Liz from The Lemon Bowl made Traditional Potato Latkes
Yosef from This American Bite made Garlic, Za’atar, and Olive Oil Stovetop Popcorn
Melanie from From Fast Food to Fresh Food made (I Can’t Believe They’re Crispy!) Baked Latkes
Laura from Mother Would Know made Three Variations of Sweet and Savory Latkes
Sarah from Crispy Bits and Burnt Ends made Kimchee Latkes
Shulie from Food Wanderings made Baked Panko Sweet Potato Leek Latkes
Donuts and Desserts: 
Miriam from Overtime Cook made Shortcut Cannoli with Chocolate Mousse Filling
Leah from Cook Kosher made 5 Minute Donuts
Estee from The Kosher Scoop made Tropical Fruit Fritters
Melinda from Kitchen-Tested made Sweet Steamed Buns
Amy from What Jew Wanna Eat made Homemade Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Gelt
Avidan from Baking It Up As I Go Along made Orange Olive Oil Cake
Tali from More Quiche Please made Glazed Chocolate Donut Holes
Amital from Organized Jewish Home made Mom’s Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
Princess Lea from The Frumanista made Túrógombóc
Stephanie and Jessica from The Kosher Foodies made Beignets
Gigi from Gigi’s Kitchen made Bunuelos: Mini Powdered Cheese Donuts 
Esther from Esther O Designs made Edible Menorahs
Patti from No Bacon Here made Hanukkah Oreo Balls
Shoshana from Couldn’t Be Parve made Churros con Chocolate
Shaindy from My Happily Hectic Life made Inside Out Apple Crisp
Eve from Gluten Free Nosh made Gluten-Free Hanukkah Sugar Cookies
The Gluten Free maven made Gluten Free Vegan Cake Donuts
Amy from Baking and Mistaking made Mini Cream-Filled French Beignets
Sarah from Food, Words, Photos made Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Victoria from Itsy Bitsy Balebusta made Pure Vanilla Donuts
Vicky and Ruth from May I Have That Recipe made Dulce de Leche and Eggnog cream filled mini sufganiot
Dena from Oh You Cook made Poached Pears in Pomegranate Sauce
Michele from Kosher Treif Cooking made Tiramisu Cheessecake
Sharon from FashionIsha made Sparkly Chanukah Cookies
Appetizers, Soups, Sauces, Drinks and other Hanukkah Food:
Laura from Pragmatic Attic made Caramel Spice Applesauce
Jessie from Bread and Butter made Honey Spiced Hanukkah Martini
G6 from Guess Who’s Coming 2 Dinner made Sweet Potato Leek Soup
Claire from I Love Soup made Sweet Potato, Coconut & Lemongrass Soup
Jennifer from Juanita’s Cocina made Kugel
Liz from Kosher Like Me made Ready, Stuff Roll!
Shelley from The Kosher Home made Hanukkah Crafts and Printables

About Amital

A die-hard listmaker and observant Jewish mommy of 5, managing the challenges of life bit by bit with the help of a Shalom Bayit book and lists. And chocolate, of course. Lots of chocolate.

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