By: Lynn Frieda
This cookie recipe originates in Ponca City, Oklahoma, at a 'newcomer's party' when my mother was 26-years-old. As the story goes, a very sweet Asian woman, whose name my mother does not recall, had delicately cut out bells, wreaths, trees, stockings, snowmen, and other Christmas characters. The frosting for the first layer was homemade, but Pillsbury had just come out with their easy ‘SQUIRT’ canned icing – a rainbow of colours, which was perfect for adding final decorative elements. My mother remembers the woman’s bells in particular, intricately cut and frosted in ‘Pink Perfection Frosting’, sprinkled with pale pink sugar and decorated with pink rosettes (à la Pillsbury) and silver balls. Tiny pink satin bows adorned the tops. My mother fell in love with the look and the taste, and from then on baked these cookies for every occasion. That was 38 years ago and from my mother’s ovens alone she must have produced thousands of these treats. For Valentines, she made big heart-shaped cookies and wrote each child's name in the centre – for the neighbourhood and school kiddos, Brownie troops, and loads of other organizations. They certainly came to characterize the holidays in our home. The original recipe makes around six-dozen small cookies or four-dozen large ones. But my mother always quadrupled it several times over, making 50 or 60 dozen at one go. Later, she added the sour cream and lemon extract, to soften the flavour of the cookies.
Makes roughly six-dozen small cookies or four-dozen large ones
1 cup thick sour cream
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda in 1 tbsp hot water
1 scant tsp lemon extract
5 cups sifted flour
Pink perfection frosting
4 cups powdered (icing) sugar
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
Silver balls, sugar rosettes etc to decorate (optional)
1. Beat together sour cream, butter, sugar and eggs.
2. Mix baking soda with 1 tbsp hot water, then add to above mixture and beat in well. Add the lemon extract, then add the flour and mix well.
3. Chill in fridge for several hours, then roll out and cut. For a simpler method, roll into logs and slice.
4. Bake at 180C for about 8 minutes (actual cooking time depends on oven and on cookie size: I prefer to undercook a tad to keep them soft).
5. For the pink perfection frosting, beat together all ingredients and spread over the baked cookies, then decorate with whatever you like.
© Recipe copyright 2004 Lynn Frieda
Author: Lynn Frieda Email: