Monday, December 7, 2009

Let the baking begin!

If you were around last year, you know that I do a lot of cooking around the holidays. Okay, fine, compared to most people, I do a lot of cooking all the time. But during the holidays, I do even more. I like to have a good variety of sweets around the house during the holidays, so I start baking early and freeze some of it. Last year, I doubled all my cookie recipes and froze half of the cookies. I also started baking in November. By January 1, I had gained 15 pounds, and my knees were not happy. So, this year, I've held off until now.

I found this recipe when I was in college. I've loved cooking ever since I was eight years old. I remember the day I made my first cake. My mother had gone outside, and being a perfectly good reader, I pulled a cake mix out of the cabinet, mixed it up, and baked it. My mother was pleasantly surprised when she came inside to find a cake waiting for her.

By the time I was in eighth grade, I was cooking four or five course meals, and we didn't have a dishwasher, which meant I was leaving a big mess. I am amazed that my mother never insisted that I clean up the kitchen afterward. Maybe she liked my cooking enough that it made up for the mess? While other girls were subscribing to Seventeen and Cosmo, I was subscribing to Better Homes and Gardens and collecting recipes.

So, when I went off to college in Connecticut (far from Texas), I missed cooking. I went to the college library one day and found the 12th edition of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook (1984). I went out and bought a cookie sheet and the other baking utensils and supplies needed to make these cookies, which I still love to this day. Of the 1,800 recipes in the book, I have no recollection why I chose this recipes, but I'm glad I did. Since they have nutmeg in them, I tend to make them around Christmas, because nutmeg always reminds me of Christmas.

Sour Cream Cookies

2 eggs
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. sour cream
5 T melted butter
1/2 t. vanilla
2 c. flour (I used white whole wheat*)
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cream together the eggs, sugar, sour cream, butter, and vanilla, then add the dry ingredients. Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

They have a cake-like texture, and you can frost them if they're not sweet enough for you. You can freeze them in a single layer, then drop them into freezer containers or bags for storage. If you stack these cookies before they're frozen, the tops and bottoms will stick to each other.

*Most whole wheat flour is made from red wheat. White whole wheat has a lighter texture, which makes for lighter breads and pastries than regular whole wheat. I use King Arthur flour, which is available online if you can't find it locally.

For more recipes, check out Foodie Friday.


SkippyMom said...

I grew up teaching myself to cook because my brother and I were latchkey and if dinner was to be on the table by 6 pm [for Dad] I cooked.

I love recipe books - I read them like novels - and I collect them.

I roll my eyes when people like my SIL says "Oh, I don't cook. I can't" I always ask her if she can read and then hand her a simple recipe. Drives me nuts. Everyone can cook. They just don't want to.

Donna said...

Hello again! I feel like I'm learning to cook all over again and I'm really missing baking and all of the goodies that go with the holidays! As you know, Ken is now strictly vegan and also NO OIL...makes it tough to consider Christmas cookies and such! Anyone out there have any ideas....please pass them will be greatly appreciated! Being French/Canadian, I was brought up making pork pies as a regular Christmas tradition...guess I'll be baking them for my Dad this year!


I had a similar experience when I was (guessing) pre-junior high school. I made a dress for my mother. She was shocked. She said, "When did you learn to sew?" I replied, "I can read, so I just read the direction on the pattern. It was easy." It's fun to surprise mothers. :-)

Deborah @ Antiquity Oaks said...

SkippyMom -- Since we've started cooking our own meat, especially chicken, I really love OLD cookbooks, because they have recipes for things like stew hens. And yes, it is silly when people say they can't cook.

Donna -- Have you tried replacing fat with applesauce or mashed banana in recipes? I haven't done it in years, but if memory serves, it works better in things like cake than cookies.

Michelle said...

I have held off starting holiday baking for the same reason - it's just too hard losing the extra weight after New Year's! I'm 48 now, and it DOES get harder with age...and at least I TRY (my DH doesn't, and I worry about his health). So I may not do much at all this year, except when it's destined for a party we're going to. I did make a German Chocolate cake (of course from scratch) for my son's birthday this weekend.

Deborah @ Antiquity Oaks said...

Coneflower -- Yes, it is fun to surprise mothers! I love your story.

Michelle -- I LOVE German chocolate cake! I'm lucky that I still have two teenagers at home, who eat the majority of the sweets I bake. Unfortunately, doubling the recipes last year (eating half and freezing half) was a terrible idea, at least where my weight was concerned. I really did not need to double the recipes, so this year, I'm just making a regular batch and freezing half.

IsobelleGoLightly said...

I'm climbing on the next UPS truck and coming to your house to eat all of those cookies! I'd like some carrot, alfalfa and peppermint cookies please. Goat kisses from Isobelle!

Terri and Randy Carlson said...

ooh, those look good. I'll have to try them!

Kristin @ Prudent and Practical said...

The cookies look wonderful - what do they taste like? I'm looking for an alternative to my sugar cookie recipe.

Deborah @ Antiquity Oaks said...

Kristin -- You can't roll them out like sugar cookies. They're definitely drop cookies, and they're not pretty when you first drop them on the cookie sheet. But as they bake, they spread out and smooth out. The taste is very similar to sugar cookies, with a hint of nutmeg.

Preparedness Pro said...

Sour cream is an excellent ingredient in baking to keep things moist I find. Who can really blame you for having delectable sweet things around the house for the holidays???

Alicia said...

I so admire people who love to cook. I enjoy it, but I have to be in the mood. I mostly stick with a few simple recipes which my kids both love. These look great though. A very pretty cooking. You have a very interesting and entertaining blog by the way.

Jeanette said...

I love cookies with a little kick. I made something similar with buttermilk recently but sour cream is in my fridge way more than buttermilk.

Mary said...

I love your cookies, but I especially love the recounting of the process by which you became a cook. I enjoyed your post immensely.
Have a great Foodie Friday.

Michael Lee West said...

A great story of a foodie-in-the-making. I love your recipe, too!

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

Loved reading the story of how you started cooking. I loved helping and finally doing it myself. I was in the 7th grade when I first "experimented" outside family recipes. I made the Spanish Pork Chop recipe off the back of a Rice-A-Roni box. My kitchen skills are much better now, but that silly recipe remained a family favorite with my parents their whole lives, in fact, my sister (not a cook) still makes it to this day! Funny how we foodies started so long ago.

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

These cookies look delicious! Anything with nutmeg just seems to speak to me of happy holidays!!! Thanks for the sharing! (I've signed as a follower...come on over and visit me too when you have a moment!) Happy Foodie Friday! Coralie

Mrs. P. said...

YUM...I grew up cooking just like you. Just did it. I do remember asking my Mom for an easy bake oven when I was 6 or 7 and she said, just bake in the real oven...and I did, lol. Great story and wonderful cookie recipe :)


Deborah @ Antiquity Oaks said...

I had an Easy Bake oven too! :) I was pretty small when I got it, and my mother would just put a little bit of her cake batter in one of those pans and let me bake it in my oven.


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