Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Valentine Tradition

I love traditions. Some families have more, some have less, and sometimes the traditions we build taper off as years pass and circumstances change. One of my favorite traditions growing up was baking Christmas cookies with my mom. As far back as I can remember, I was perched on top of a little, plastic, yellow chair pouring, mixing, rolling and baking.

As the years passed, one cookie often found itself not getting made in time for Christmas, the Sugar Cookie. Due to needing to roll out the dough, cut the shapes and add sprinkles, it was much more time consuming than it's drop cookie cousins. Most people aren't big sugar cookie fans, and I can understand why. But this isn't any sugar cookie. It's my Grandma Betty's Sour Cream Sugar Cookie. Not only does it taste like happy Christmas memories to me, but I think it's objectively the best sugar cookie I've ever eaten in both taste and texture.

After Christmas passed I'd usually keep asking for this cookie, and my mom would assure me we'd make it for Valentine's Day instead. And we did (by we, I of course mean my mom did 95% of the work and I added sprinkles). The recipe makes enough to share with an entire classroom (or 3) and red sprinkle hearts are just as yummy as green sprinkle trees.

I made these cookies by myself for the first time when David and I were engaged. My friend Stacey and I had driven up to PA to visit him while we were on our winter break. We spent our week baking and enjoying the snow before driving back to Florida to visit family.

The first Christmas we were married, I had terrible morning sickness and wasn't feeling up to baking much of anything. The next Christmas we were living in an apartment in Florida temporarily for David's job and I was finally getting to sleep in 2-3 hour stretches for the first time since our 5-month-old was born. Again, no cookies.

This Christmas, I had every intention of finally baking at least 5 types of cookies, including sour-cream sugar cookies. I ended up baking 3 types of cookies and learning what my mother and grandmother before me already knew- baking is fun, but it takes a lot of time! So I took another page out of their play-book and have now, officially, decided Sour Cream Sugar Cookies are going to be a Valentine (not Christmas) tradition.

Although Caleb often helps me with my baking projects, I did this one solo, after his bed time.

Rolled and Cut hearts

Extracting X's and O's from the dough was a challenge
Finally ready for the oven. No wonder my mom says it used to make her want to cry to see me feed these to the dogs because I wanted to "share" : )

Finished Product! Kudos to my husband for capturing this cool shot.

Caleb enjoying the fruits of my labor at play date today. Happy Valentine's Day Buddy!

I wasn't the only one who was thinking dessert today. We had an unplanned mini-Valentine's party.

The boys had a blast as usual


couponingfromFL2MI said...

I love it, I am going to try this recipe as soon as I have my grandchildren around. It really sounds good, and what fun for Valentine's Day. I saw your post via your mom, whom I worked with for years. I love seeing all the baby pictures and updates!

Sarah_Joy said...

Thanks! It's definitely a fun one to make with and for kids. It also has less sugar per cookie than some of my favorite breakfast-muffin recipes; another plus!

The Vogt Family said...

Sugar cookies are Brandon's favorite and I have been looking for the perfect recipe - I will definitely try yours! Thank you!

One quick question, in the ingredients it says 1 cup shortening, half butter - does that mean you can use 1 cup shortening or 1/2 cup shortening, 1/2 cup butter?

Sarah_Joy said...

I had to think about that one for a second too, but I am used to my mom's short-hand. It means 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup butter : )