No Thanks

Keep In Touch With

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.

Mother's Sour-Cream Cookies

This simple, not-too-sweet cookie recipe comes from author Elizabeth Gilbert's "At Home on the Range," a republication of her great-grandmother's 1947 cookbook.

  • yield: Makes 3 dozen
Photography: Rob Tannenbaum


  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, plus more for baking sheet
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
  • Sanding sugar, for sprinkling


  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a baking sheet and set aside.

  2. Step 2

    In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

  3. Step 3

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together sugar and butter. Add egg, sour cream, and vanilla, and mix until well combined. With the mixer on low, gradually add enough of the flour mixture to form a soft dough. You may have up to 1/2 cup flour mixture remaining. Transfer dough to refrigerator until chilled.

  4. Step 4

    Place heaping teaspoons dough on baking sheet and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Transfer to oven and bake until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

The Martha Stewart Show, May 2012

Reviews (2)

  • 8 Jan, 2013

    Wonderful flavor, and very easy to make, but even w/o sanding sugar they're MUCH too sweet (and I'm no sugar-phobe). If I make them again (and I probably will), I'll cut the sugar by at least a third, from 1 cup to 2/3 cup. With less sugar, they'd be fantastic. I love the soft dough - a nice change from most cookie doughs, which tend toward concrete. Even using the full amount of flour, the dough is about halfway between an ordinary cookie dough and a cake batter. Very nice to work with.

  • 24 May, 2012

    Delicate, buttery, delicious and so easy to make! I have to hide these because my family devours them with total lack of control! I would definitely add the vanilla as it creates that extra layer of flavor. My plan is to use almond extract and/or brown butter next time.