One of the best things about the holidays are the traditions you get to make as a family. For many of us, those memories are based around food and the recipes we've shared. One of my favourite holiday cookies of all time came from a recipe that was passed down by my Grandma called "Prize Cookies." They are a sour cream and sugar based cookie recipe that makes a large batch and are easy to prepare, cut out and decorate. I loved sitting at the kitchen table as a child helping my mom decorate these cookies year after year.
Recently, there was a Christmas when these were not on the dessert platter. My mom said she ran out of time to make them. Obviously, I procured the recipe. I can still visualize the original recipe, written on a small, yellowed scrap of paper in my grandmother's handwriting. NOt even all measurements & directions were precise, so I retested it a few times, made some additional notes for a final version of these cookies. Every Christmas since then, I've made sure to make this recipe to carry on the tradition.
What I love about these cookies, is that they canbe cut out and decorated for any holiday occasion. And while in my own mind I associate this recipe with Christmas, they could equally be used for Valentine's, Hallowe'en, Easter, or other occasions you wish to celebrate.
In my home, we now celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah, so I've made sure to invest in both an excellent set of Christmas Cookie Cutters, as well as some Hanukkah Cookie Cutters. And since this recipe makes an ample amount, I usually have more than enough for each occasion.
What are some of your favourite holiday recipes? Are there any that have been passed down the generations to you that you love?
Grandma's Holiday Prize Cookies
Yield: 10-11 dozen
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours (approx. 10-12 minutes per sheet of cookies)
Total Time: 2.5 hours
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 5 1/2 cups flour, or enough flour until the dough is stiff and you are able to roll it out and cut cookies out. (plus extra for rolling)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Blend butter and sugar until well combined.
- Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla and mix well.
- Add in the dry ingredients and mix into the wet ingredients.
- Roll out the dough on a very well floured surface to just less than 1/4 inch thickness and cut into shapes.
- Place cookies onto a prepared cookie sheet and you can either decorate them with sprinkles (before baking) or leave them blank to be iced and decorated (after baking).
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until you notice the slightest bit of golden colouring on the edge of the occasional cookie (not all of them). You do you want them to all be golden as they are softer and moister the less they are cooked.
- For frosting: once the cookies have cooled, frost them (I use the Homemade Vanilla Frosting Recipe from Food.com and use food colouring to change up the colours when desired) Enjoy!
NOTE: Do not use fat-free sour cream. The cookies will turn out dense and flat. Any other kind of low fat or high fat sour cream will work well for this recipe.