Friday, July 5, 2013

Flashback Friday: Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

Flashback Friday: Revisiting a recipe from long ago

This recipe appeared twice in my great-grandmother's notebook.  On one page she called them "Cookies, Mamma's White" and on another they were called "Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies." If they were old-fashioned even in her day, what does that make them now?  Super-old-fashioned?  And when she called them Mamma's White Cookies does that mean this recipe was from my great-great-grandmother?

Let's just say a few other details have been lost as well.  Both times she left out the flour measurement and instructions. Again.  Yep, it's time for another round of guessing games and recipe testing.

I looked up multiple old-fashioned sour cream sugar cookie recipes.  Having old cookbooks comes in handy, but some of the recipes aren't any more detailed than my great-grandma's.  Once again I found drop cookies and cut-out cookies, so I split the recipe in half and tried it both ways.  The Betty Crocker Picture Cooky Book (which I showed you on our very first Flashback Friday) gave me a good starting point for the cut-out cookies.  I never would have picked an oven temperature of 425, but most of the recipes I found used surprisingly high temperatures.

Other than that, there wasn't a whole lot of excitement here.  Great-grandma's recipe had more sugar and less butter than most, no added spices, and only baking soda rather than both soda and powder.  Not all that interesting, but after our pleasant surprise of a cookie last week I couldn't help but wonder.

Both the drop cookies and cut-out version shown here were rather plain.  They were sweet, but not too sweet and varied from hard to soft depending on the exact baking time and temperature. I'll spare you any more details.  Let's just say these are definitely the kind of sugar cookie that needs frosting.  (If you're looking for a sweeter, stand-alone sugar cookie, try my family's favorite sugar cookies.)

Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies/ Mamma's White Cookies
recipe from my great-grandma (and possibly her "mamma", my great-great-grandma)
No instructions were given in her notebook, only ingredients (not including flour)

1/4 cup butter softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream

* Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
* In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  In another bowl combine flour and baking soda.  Add flour mixture alternately with sour cream to the wet ingredients.
* On a well-floured surface roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness.  Cut out cookies using a 2-inch cookie cutter and transfer to greased baking sheets. If desired, sprinkle with additional sugar.  Bake 6-8 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown and edges are just starting to turn golden.  Remove from trays and let cool on wire cooling rack.  When completely cool, frost with your favorite frosting.

Food for Thought: Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. -Proverbs 4:23

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