I met Grandma Marcella when she was in her 70’s after I had been dating my husband for a while. She was a very vibrant Lady, very thoughtful and always looking out for her Grandchildren. Despite being in her 70s she never forgot my name; perhaps it was because her dog was named Jan. I like to think it was because I made a positive impression.
Grandma Marcella loved to cook. The pile of monthly magazines ranged from Southern Living to Taste of Home as well as the more traditional Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies Home Journal….and she tried recipes from all of them. Some were great and became favorites, some not so good (unless you were truly adventurous —or had no taste buds). The funny thing was, even if you didn’t like the recipe you ate it anyway because you loved Grandma that much. One such memorable meal was when my husband and I went over for lunch and we were ‘treated’ to “a meatloaf recipe that she was dying to try”—much to my husband’s dismay we found it was a basic meatloaf that alternated hard boiled eggs and pickles. Needless to say, THAT recipe did not come home with us.
But when Grandma’s recipes were good…you treasured them and they became a part of your history; a tradition that gets handed down to the next generation. One of those recipes was her “Southern Cream Cookies.” I am not sure if it originally came from a Southern Living Magazine and if that is how the “Southern” got in there—they are actually Sour Cream Cookies—but my recipe cards all say Southern Cream so thats what they are.
We make them every year for the Holidays, and often in between because they are THAT good. Think of a fluffy Snickerdoodle, but only better. They are very easy to make and my daughters loved to help (often I think to be able to ‘taste test’ the first batches). So, without further ado, the recipe….
Southern Cream Cookies
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
3 beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla
5 cups flour
1 tsp salt Optional: add 1 ½ cups finely chopped walnuts
1 Tbs baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup sour cream
3 Tbs sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Pre heat oven to 350*. Use non stick cookie sheets if possible.
Cream together: shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Use a stand mixer (if you have one) as this recipe gets thick.
In a large bowl mix dry ingredients-flour, salt, baking powder and soda. Add walnuts if using. Stir together so they are evenly distributed.
Add the dry ingredients to creamed mixture—alternate with the 1 cup of sour cream until fully mixed but don’t over mix.
In a separate small bowl combine remaining sugar and cinnamon for the topping.
Using cookie scoops (if you have them – if not use 2 spoons-one to scoop and one to push dough off the spoon) place rounded tablespoon size of dough on the cookie sheet.
Using the foot of a wine glass (or other flat bottom glass) lightly “tap” the dough and then place wine glass in sugar cinnamon mix then back to cookie—basically you are transferring small amounts of the topping to each cookie. Repeat with each cookie.
Bake in a preheated oven (350*) for about 10 minutes—timing depends on the size of the cookie. Top will still look puffy but bottom edge will become golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool on sheet 3-5 minutes or until it transfers easily. Move to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.