sour cream sugar twists (aka starlight sugar crisps)

Some of my favorite recipes for the holidays come from my grandma’s kitchen… and more specifically from her 1950’s copy of Pillsbury’s Best Butter Cookies Vol II (no date, but the price on the cover is 20 cents!).

Since I get to start my holiday baking quite early this year (you know, because my hands will be full come the end of november!!) I was excited to make one of my favorite holiday treats!

Fortunately these freeze wonderfully, otherwise I would have a hard time not eating them all… right now!

In my family, we have always called these cookies Sour Cream Sugar Twists.  I actually didn’t know they had a different name until I saw the recipe in the pillsbury cookbook!

So yes, these are officially called “Starlight Sugar Crisps” but to me they will always be Sour Cream Sugar Twists.

sour cream sugar twists (aka starlight sugar crisps)

Yield: about 5 dozen cookies


  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup very warm (but not hot! about 105º) water
  • 3 3/4 cups flour (spoon gently into your measuring cup)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup cold butter, diced
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Stir the yeast into the warm water and set aside to soften. In a large bowl whisk together the flour and salt. Cut in the butter until particles are the size of small peas. Blend in the eggs, sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla and the softened yeast. Mix thoroughly. Cover and chill at least 2 hours (or up to 4 days).

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. In a small bowl, combine sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla, stirring well to combine.

Roll out half of the chilled dough on a board that has been sprinkled with about 1/2 cup of the vanilla sugar. Roll out to a 16x8" rectangle. Sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon more vanilla sugar.

Fold one end of the dough over the center. Fold the other end over to make 3 layers. Turn 1/4 way around and repeat rolling and folding twice, sprinkling the board and dough with additional vanilla sugar as needed.

((This will bring you to a total of 3 times folding the dough, if that helps clarify things a bit!))

Roll out to a 16x8" rectangle about 1/4" thick. Cut into 4x1" strips. Twist each strip 2 or 3 times and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 15-20 minutes, until the cookies are light golden brown. Repeat the entire process with the remaining dough.

“Senior First Prize Winner in Pillsbury’s 8th Grand National Recipe and Baking Contest by Mrs. Leland E. Ross, Roscommon, Michigan”

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