It just doesn't taste like Christmas to me without a few of my Aunt Bonnie's Sour Cream Cookies. I mentioned them last year in the Chow Bella "Jennifer Woods, What Are You Baking?" post. These cookies are really all about the frosting but the soft cookie makes that whole eating experience soft, sweet, and cozy with the brown butter glaze. They also sort of resemble a snowy frosted mountain top which is just so appropriate for a winter cookie.
Aunt Bonnie usually makes the cookies larger. I have adapted them to make the cookies smaller and double the glaze part. You can clearly see where my priorities lie. These were a taste-category winner at a previous holiday cookie swap. It was at my house, but I swear I didn't alter the votes. I hope you try them. They're my favorite holiday cookie.
Jen's Aunt Bonnie's Sour Cream Cookies
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup sour cream (I made these with plain whole yogurt since that's what I had, but you should still use sour cream for mazimum richness)
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
for the browned butter glaze (recipe follows)
for the browned butter glaze
1/3 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla (I used vanilla bean paste)
2 tablespoons hot water or enough to make glaze spreadable
Heat oven to 375º. Beat brown sugar and shortening in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon until fluffy. Add the sour cream, vanilla and eggs. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet (I always bake them on a silicone mat, so I'm not sure how apt they are to stick). Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched in center. Cool 1 to 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Spread with browned butter glaze, recipe follows.
Browned Butter Glaze
Heat butter in 1-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown; remove from heat. Stir in remaining ingredients until smooth and spreadable.