Just three days to Christmas! I am finishing my last minute baking and cookie decorating this afternoon. I prepared a traditional family favorite that my mother, my sister and I made when I was growing up. Her mother and aunt also made this same cookie each year. The taste is so crisp, yet tender and very delicious, no doubt due to the fact that this sugar cookie recipe contains sour cream. The wind is howling outside and the weather is cool, yet I am cozy and warm in my house as I decorate the cookies with frosting and colorful sprinkles. It sure brings back good memories of my childhood and the Christmas celebrations that we enjoyed with my parents, brother, sister and my aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins. My Grandma Stahn had us over to her home each Christmas Eve after the kids in my family participated in our annual Christmas play at our little Lutheran church in my small hometown. After we opened up our Christmas presents and ate our ate our tasty late Christmas Eve  supper consisting of of all types of Christmas cookies, fudge, open face sandwiches, cheese and crackers, Chex snack mix, summer sausage and divinity, we always gathered at my grandmother’s piano and sang Christmas carols while she played the piano. Our favorite songs included Silent night sang in both English and German, Frosty the Snowman, Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, Up on the Rooftop and of course Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Another favorite Christmas memory was the time my brother, sister and I found our Christmas present after we snooped around the house for it while my parents were out at a dance for the evening. We had asked for a record player for months. My brother, sister and myself were very elated when we found the phongraph on the top shelf of our hallway closet.  We had to put on our best act on Christmas Eve so that we looked surprised when we opened up our cherished gift!  My sister and I listened to the top forty tunes on our favorite rock and roll radio station WLS  from Chicago while we washed and dried the supper dishes or finished our home work at the dining room table.We were fans of the Beatles, Monkees, and many other artists of that era.  I was probably in sixth or seventh grade, my brother was a ninth or tenth grader and my sister was only in the second or third grade when we found that record player up in the closet. Now we could purchase all of our favorite top forty records since we had a record player to play them on. My dad worked at Woolworths. When we wanted a new record, we would put in a request for the record that we wanted and give him 99 cents and he would purchase the record or album and bring it home. Albums were four or five dollars so I had to save my allowance and babysiting income up for those! The year was about 1969 I guess.

Sour Cream Cut Out Sugar Cookies


Christmas is indeed a very special holiday that is very close to my heart. I really enjoy the entire season since I love to decorate my home and trim the Christmas tree along with my husband as we sip on hot apple cider and listen along to our favorite Christmas songs. Choosing each particular person’s gift, especially the kids involved in my life is so much fun. Last but not least, I wrap each gift and write out my Christmas cards while again listening to my favorite Christmas carols on CBN or one of my many Christmas CD’s.

Christmas is also a very special time of the year for me since I celebrate the birth of my savior Jesus Christ. I enjoy attending a Christmas church service to reflect on the real meaning of Christmas. I also love to sing along with my favorite Christmas songs such as Hark the Harold Angels Sing, It came Upon A Midnight Clear, Mary, Have You Heard and countless others at the Christmas church services.

I tend to modify my recipes frequently to reduce the sugar, fat, sodium, cholesterol and calorie content. I also add higher fiber ingredients such as ground flaxseed, chia seeds and whole wheat flour in many of my recipes on my Honeydews Kitchen food and nutrition blog. I did not alter this recipe in any way since it is a family favorite. I would recommend that you consume this cookie and your other favorite holiday recipes containing more sugar, fat or sodium content in moderation, if you choose not to modify your recipes. Be very mindful of eating slowly and using smaller portions of your favorite recipes this time of year. Plan to prepare a fresh veggie platter with a yogurt and reduced fat sour cream based dip or slices of fresh fruit  with a reduced fat cream cheese based dip to trim off a few calories and grams of fat this holiday season

.When I was attending college majoring in Nutrition and Dietetics, I decided to do some holiday baking in my small apartment. Since I was very excited  about all the benefits of nutrition and a little over zealous concerning the benefits of healthy foods, I substituted whole wheat flour in this recipe in place of the all purpose white flour. The cookies looked very good, but were a little on the tough and chewy side due to the addition of the whole wheat flour. My  family and friends teased me about that for quite a while. If a person wanted to add some whole wheat flour to a rolled out  cookie recipe , I would suggest substituting 25% whole wheat pastry flour in place of some of the all purpose flour in the cookie so that these cookies will still have a crisp and tender consistency.


Recipe type: cookie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3½ dozen cookies
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup regular or reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Frosting:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 TB milk
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • Decorations: red and green colored sugar and multi-colored sprinkles
  1. Place butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream well until light and fluffy, using an electric mixer. Beat in eggs. add sour cream and vanilla and mix until well combined. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and, baking soda. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. The dough will be sticky and very soft. Divide the dough in half and shape into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours or until the dough is firm enough to roll out. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. and line your baking sheets with parchment paper, if possible. On a well floured surface, roll out each portion of dough with a rolling pin to approximately ¼-inch thickness. Cut out the cookies with a floured cookie cutter. Place cookies at least 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. Allow the cookies to remain on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before using a spatula to carefully remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  2. After the cookies have cooled completely, prepare the frosting by combining all of the frosting ingredients together in a medium sized bowl and stir well until well combined. If the frosting appears to be too thin, add a small amount more of powdered sugar and stir well until it is a good spreading consistency. If the frosting, appears to be too thick add, 1-2 tsp more of milk and stir until it is a good consistency for spreading on the cookies. Decorate the cookies by sprinkling on colored sugar or other festive sprinkles. Let cookies set out on your cupboard until the frosting is well set and then store the cookies in an airtight container until serving time.

Readers, I wish you each a very blessed Christmas season and a happy and healthy New Year!  I have enjoyed authoring Honeydews Kitchen. I plan to change the name of my food and nutrition blog to Vintage Nutrition Kitchen. You can continue to read my food blog featuring my favorite healthy recipes. I have had more time to spend in my kitchen since my recent retirement. I love to experiment and “tweak” the recipes to improve their nutritional profile without sacrificing good taste. Check out my new food blog at

These cookies have a crisp, yet tender and rich taste. Enjoy!


Why do they call these cookies angel cookies? Maybe because of their simply divine taste! I was looking through my mother’s recipe box looking for the best Christmas cookie to prepare. My mother is now in heaven hopefully smiling down on me while I prepare a cookie that her, my sister and I prepared each Christmas when I was growing up. I don’t bake many Christmas cookies most years since my mother in law presents us with a box of pretty bow tied Christmas cookies and rum balls for one of our Christmas presents each year. We will visit her for the New Year this year so I broke the mold and decided to make some cookies this year. As I file through the old recipe box, I am reminded of all the food that my mother prepared with love as we were growing up. We ate very few processed foods then since everything was made “from scratch” and preserved from our garden by canning the fruits and vegetables each year. I learned how to cook at a young age and am happy about that since we prefer to eat food from its more natural state. Each recipe in the recipe box is handwritten on a recipe card .There are recipes from my mom, great aunt and grandmother. There are also recipes that my classmates and I  prepared in our Home Economics class in Junior and Senior High School. It is amazing to think that these are still some of the handwritten recipes that were used by family members almost 100 years ago. The Angel Cookie was always one of my favorite Christmas cookies, second only to the sour cream cut out Christmas cookies! Of course, I have modified the recipe slightly by omitting the shortening since we do not need the trans fat or extra saturated fat from this in the recipe.  People simply did not know or care about trans fats back in the day! The original recipe called for 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup of butter and I used 3/4 cup of unsalted butter. Besides omitting the salt, I left the rest of the ingredients the same since I wanted them to have the same delicious taste that I remember in my younger days. The cookies can be rolled in white sugar or colored sugar such as red or green (or purple for the teenagers in your life).

Almond Angel Cookies and Milk for Santa

The recipe is written in my mother’s handwriting but say Aunt Florence on  top the recipe. Aunt Florence was my great aunt. She and her husband Uncle Orrin lived in a farm house out in the country. They were retired farmers so did not have any animals on the farm when we visited them as a child. My brother Randy, sister Tricia and I loved to visit them so we could run and play in their big farm yard. Aunt Florence kept a neat and clean farm house and was rumored to even iron her bed sheets. She was a good cook and had a pantry next to her cozy country kitchen which I thought was very cool. If we behaved, we would be rewarded with one of her crisp and delectable chocolate chip oatmeal cookies from the famous old cookie jar!

She had beautiful dark oak woodwork, an oak finished staircase which we loved to take turns sliding down and even an old fashioned oak telephone  on her wall that was no longer in use but I imagined talking on this and calling Sara the operator to make my call just like Andy and Barney did on the  Andy Griffith show. She and Uncle Orrin also had an old barn in immaculate condition with a ladder leading to the old hay mound which we loved to climb up and explore. They had barn dances up there in their younger years and my grandfather and grandmother on my mom’s side of the family met there and eventually married. In her younger years, she would pile my mom, her brother Bob, sister Pat and Uncle Orrin Junior in the box of her straight stick old Ford pick up and give them a ride to the nearest lake for a cool dip after a long day of weeding the garden and feeding the chickens on the farm. My Aunt Pat who was often a mischief maker I hear, decided to take a short cut through the bull pen on her way back to the farmhouse and was chased by a bull. She never ran faster in her life and made it over the fence in just the nick of time!

Another favorite part of Christmas is spending time with family and friends, enjoying favorite old and new family traditions and attending a Christmas Eve church service. Christmas time for me is also celebrating the birth of my savior Jesus Christ. I love to sing Christmas carols such as Silent Night Holy Night, Hark the Harold Angels Sing and It Came Upon a Midnight Clear in the church services. Old favorites such as Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow, and I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Santa Claus is coming to Town as well as all those Perry Como, Bing Crosby and Amy Grant Christmas songs are always playing in the background while I am baking, reading or wrapping Christmas presents. Every family has Christmas traditions and I remember listening to Herb Albert Tijuana Christmas also when I was a teenager since my parents enjoyed their music. I wonder if my sister or brother ended up with that album because it is not at my house! If you miss those old Christmas carols tune in to for the Christmas tunes. They even have a country western version if you are country music fan. I am also thrilled as well as thankful to be free of my former purple cast since I broke my heel last fall. I am slowly recovering, while taking physical therapy and doing my home exercises and hope to be back to walking in the white winter wonderland of Minnesota very soon! Have a blessed and Merry Christmas this year!


Recipe type: Christmas Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 30 cookies
  • ¾ cup softened butter (or margarine if preferred)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • ½ cup crushed walnuts
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  1. Cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer. Add brown and white sugar, egg, almond and vanilla extract and mix together until well combined. Fold in crushed walnuts and set aside. Combine all of the dry ingredients well with a fork. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Roll into small balls and dip half of the cookie mixture into water and then roll in granulated sugar. You may use white sugar or colored green or red sugar. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F. for 10-12 minutes. Cool off and serve or store in an airtight container or cookie jar.
Count as one carbohydrate choice or 1 starch and 1 fat choice.

Nutrition information was calculated using Spark Recipes Recipe Calculator.

Gluten free diets may use the gluten free flour such as Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour.

This information is not intended to provide medical advice. Please contact your personal physician, certified diabetes educator or registered dietitian for further advice concerning adjustment into your meal plan.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: cookie Calories: 107 Fat: 6.5 grams Saturated fat: 3.1 grams Unsaturated fat: 3.4 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 12 grams Sodium: 46 mg Fiber: 0.4 grams Protein: 1.5 grams Cholesterol: 18 mg