Secrets of sour cream cookies

Judyrae Kruse is taking some well-earned time off. Here is an encore column from April 2006.

Yoo hoo, cookie person Shara Hall, here we go again, starting with this letter from Cori Fasy of Salt Lake City, Utah.

“Here is a recipe for sour cream drop cookies,” she writes. “This came to me by way of my mom, Jessie McCaulley of Darrington. I believe she got it from Emma Strom, who was the great little old lady who lived next door to us in Darrington. This recipe has been a family favorite for years, and I hope it is the one Shara Hall needs. If not, it sure is a good one!”

Incidentally, if case you didn’t know or have forgotten, Jessie McCaulley was a very popular Forum friend, and about the only Darrington helper-outer we had for years and years. Among other virtues, she was a cooking phenom (quiltmaker extraordinaire, too), generously sharing her tips, tricks and recipes with us whenever she had something to offer.

I remember one year, nearing Thanksgiving it was, when she called to give us the secret to her (she didn’t say this, so I will) famous pumpkin pie.

“Add one teaspoon of vanilla,” she directed, “and substitute brown sugar for half of the regular sugar in your homemade pumpkin pie filling. You’ll be surprised at the flavor — it’s way better than the old original recipe.”

Jessie was totally, absolutely right about that — and some of us have been making our pumpkin filling her way ever since …

Moving along now, Everett cook Donna Snow antes up with yet another cookie possibility.

“I had taken a recipe out of The Herald,” she mentions, “and had noticed Shara Hall of Mountlake Terrace wanted a recipe for sour cream cookies. I had this recipe on hand and hope she can use it.”

Sour cream drop cookies from Darrington

2 cups sugar

1 cup shortening (part butter, if you like)

1 egg

1 tablespoon grated orange or lemon peel (optional, see note)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or lemon or orange extract (see note before adding)

1 cup sour cream

3½ cups sifted flour

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

Granulated sugar for flattening

Pecan or walnut halves for garnish (optional)

In medium mixing bowl, cream together sugar and shortening or shortening and butter until fluffy. Add egg and grated peel or flavoring and beat well. Mix in sour cream.

In large mixing bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder; add the sour cream mixture and mix well.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet. Flatten slightly with bottom of glass dipped in granulated sugar. If desired, press in pecan or walnut halves. Bake at 375 degrees 12 to 15 minutes.

Note: If you do not want to use the grated orange or lemon peel, vanilla, orange or lemon extract can be used instead.

Sour cream cookies

1 cup sugar

½ cup shortening or margarine, softened

½ cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

2¼ cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease (do not use oil) cookie sheets.

In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, shortening or margarine, sour cream, vanilla and eggs, blending well.

Sift together flour, baking soda, nutmeg and salt; add to sour cream mixture and blend well.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets.

Makes 42 to 48 cookies.

The Forum is always happy to receive your contributions and requests, so send them along to Judyrae Kruse at the Forum, c/o The Herald, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206.

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