I have so many fond memories of flouring, rolling, and carefully cutting (and eating) cookie dough as a kid. My siblings and I would each have a personal pile of flour to repeatedly dust our cutters, but we’d always end up prying the dough off anyway.
Then of course there was the frosting and sprinkling. And the eating. I’ll be honest, the eating is the least prominent in my memory. That is probably due to the fact that with all the flour involved, those sugar cookies were always crunchy.
Incidentally, I avoided eating sugar cookies for years. They were always at the bottom of my cookie list because they were either crunchy and tasteless, or they were the thick, crumbly kind from the store with garish frosting—and also tasteless.
I have on occasion sampled really good soft, thick sugar cookies at other people’s homes, but regrettably I don’t have a recipe for those.
Then I met Amish Sugar Cookies. Now sugar cookies are back at the top of my list. Not only are these practically impossible to stop eating, they don’t require chilling, flouring, and cutting. My poor children don’t have those flour-covered memories because when I make sugar cookies, it’s always this kind.
I don’t know what relation the cookies have to Amish folks, so don’t ask. If they were in fact invented by the Amish, I commend them for their taste in cookies.
The texture of Amish sugar cookies is not what you’d probably expect from a sugar cookie. They’re more akin to a snicker doodle (thanks to the cream of tartar) but not as chewy. They are slightly chewy but light and melty at the same time, almost like a butter cookie. The cookie and the sour cream frosting (which is like, 10 times better than buttercream) halve a decided salty note that contributes to my uncontrollable cookie consumption.
Instead of chilling, rolling, and cutting these cookies, you’ll spoon the dough like a drop cookie and then press each ball of dough gently with a sugar-dusted glass. The dough is not sticky, so chilling is optional, however chilling does result in a thicker cookie. I usually bake one batch right away and then put the rest of the dough in the fridge for the next day.
One drawback to the sour cream icing is that it needs refrigeration, so you’ll need to refrigerate the cookies after you ice them. Or, you can store the unfrosted cookies in an airtight container but refrigerate the icing, and ice them just before eating or serving. That’s what we do—we just grab the bowl of icing out of the fridge and smear some on just before enjoying our cookies.
You can of course use food coloring to dye the icing any color you want. With Valentine’s Day this weekend, these cookies would make a special treat in pink!
Adapted from Our Best Bites
- 1 cup room-temperature butter
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. table salt
- 1 tsp. cream of tartar
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup softened butter
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 ¾ cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Food coloring as desired
Preheat oven to 350*.
In a large bowl, beat butter and oil until thoroughly combined. Gradually add 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of powdered sugar, mixing well. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
In another bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar. Gradually mix flour mixture into sugar mixture, beating at low speed until combined.
If desired, chill dough 30-60 minutes. Otherwise, scoop the dough about 1 tablespoon at a time onto a cookie sheet. Take a glass and gently press one of the cookies to moisten the bottom of the glass, then dip the bottom of the glass in the ½ cup sugar. Press the glass gently onto the cookie again. Dip the glass back in the sugar and press the next cookie, and so on until each cookie has been pressed with the sugar-dusted glass.
Bake at 350* for 9-12 minutes, removing from the oven when the edges are just beginning to turn golden. Allow cookies to cool completely.
Beat together the butter and sour cream, then add the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla and food coloring and beat until smooth. Ice the cooled cookies as desired.
Refrigerate iced cookies until ready to serve, or store un-frosted cookies in an airtight container and refrigerate the icing, then ice cookies prior to serving.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.