There are plenty of occasions throughout the year that call for the perfect cut-out cookie. Whether it’s hearts for Valentine’s Day or Santa’s for Christmas, piping frosting onto some holiday-themed cookies is one of our all-time favorite pastimes. But it’s so often the case that those cookies that look so beautiful don’t taste quite as great. But never fear. That’s definitely not the case with these cookies. These cookies are soft and nearly cake-like and they’re just the kind of dependable sugar cookie you want to have in your back pocket.
Their secret is a little bit of sour cream mixed into the dough. It doesn’t really impart any tangy sour cream flavor, but it ensures that the cookies stay fluffy and soft as they bake, which means that when you go to take a bite out of this decorated cookie, your teeth sink into it instead of being met with a crunch.
While most of the time we just flavor these with vanilla extract, a little nutmeg around the winter holidays feels just right. It adds a subtle hint of holiday spice, and while it’s definitely not mandatory, we suggest you give it a try at least once. Likewise, when it comes to chilling this dough… it’s not a totally necessary step. It does help the cookies stay a bit fluffier, and definitely helps the dough be less sticky, but you can always skip that step if you’re in a sugar cookie time crunch!
Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
30 minutes active, 1 hour inactive to prepare serves 24-36
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until well combined. Mix in eggs and vanilla until thoroughly incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg (if using). Add dry ingredients to the sugar/butter mixture, alternating with the sour cream, mixing well after each addition.
Flatten dough into a disc, cover in plastic wrap, and chill for about one hour. (You can skip this step if needed, but it helps make the cookies fluffier.)
Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface and cut into desired shapes. Place onto a prepared baking sheet and cook until lightly golden, about 7 minutes for soft cookies, 10 minutes for crispier cookies.
Let cookies cool on a wire rack and decorate with your favorite frosting. Enjoy!