someoneElse's Snickerdoodles for Susan
If one end of the food blogging spectrum dictates that dinner gets cold while "just one more quick picture" gets snapped, the other holds onto the last handful of cookies until they can get a picture taken, even if it means foregoing the only cookies in the house. Critical mass (or critical lack of mass, i.e., the last four snickerdoodles) was hit today, driving me to get out the camera and take this picture so that I could eat one. (Hi, my name is kitchenMage and I am a cookieholic...) Just in time too, that plate holds the remnants of a double batch!
For many people, snickerdoodles are one of the cookies of childhood memories — fondly recalled, yet seldom eaten as an adult. When I was a kid these chewy cookies were a common home-baked cookie, however, at least in my part of the left coast of the USA. Not surprising, since they stay fresh in a cookie jar and aren't so delicate that they crumble in a child's often none-too-gentle hand. The flavors are subtle and unlikely to offend a child's developing — thus sometimes finicky and often changeable — sense of taste, while avoiding the blander taste of a plain sugar cookie. The crinkly surface — caused by the rapid rise and fall of baking soda and cream of tartar — catches a generous coating of cinnamon-sugar while the characteristic tang of the cookie (cream of tartar again) balances the sweet surface.
I can't recall ever seeing snickerdoodles in a bakery — although they must sell them somewhere — and given the dismal things I keep reading about home cooking, I am sure there aren't enough snickerdoodles being made. Not flashy enough, I guess. This is really too bad, they really are a treasure, simple enough to be flexible, delicious enough to evoke memories years later, a breeze to make and robust enough to stand up to a little time in a cookie jar...or a freezer...or a care package to a war zone.
In any case, I was very happy that Farmgirl asked for a recipe for these the other day, saying something about liking to bake things with doodles in them. Well, in the interest of saving Molly Doodlebug from being baked into a cake, I feel that I should get it posted quickly, and now that I have the photo I can.
These snickerdoodles, made by someoneElse, are adapted from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book for a particular monstrrr** who requested "extra cinnamon" with the addition of vanilla and cinnamon to the dough, and extra cinnamony cinnamon-sugar to roll them in. The dough is dropped, rather than being shaped into the traditional smooth ball, which gives the cookie a lot more surface area full of tiny nooks and crannies just waiting to capture the cinnamon-sugar (think english muffin) giving these delightful cookies a bite with a delicately crispy crunch.
butter, 1 cup (at room temperature)
sugar, 1 1/2 cups
vanilla extract, 1 1/2 tsp
eggs, 2 (at room temperature)
AP flour, 2 3/4 cups
cream of tartar, 2 tsp
baking soda, 1 tsp
salt, 1/2 tsp
cinnamon, 1 tsp
Cinnamon sugar (recipe below)
Cream butter and sugar together at medium speed on an electric mixer (or by hand). Add vanilla and mix to combine. Add eggs one at a time, mix well after each. Sift dry ingredients together and add to butter mixture, mixing to combine well. (If you like your cookies a bit thicker than the ones in the picture, cover the dough and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to a day. Remove from refrigerator just before portioning and baking.)
Put about 1/4 cup of cinnamon sugar in a flattish bowl. The amount you use will vary based on how heavily you coat the little blobs of dough. I tend towards a "more is better" philosophy on the question of cinnamon-sugar and I use about 1/4-1/3 of a cup per batch. Remember, you're going to be rolling balls of cookie dough in it, so find a bowl or plate that gives you enough space to work without making a huge mess!
Drop heaping teaspoonfuls in bowl of cinnamon-sugar and roll to coat. (I use one of these that holds about 1 1/4 ounce for most of my cookies.) Place cookies on parchment covered cookie sheet, leaving room for the cookies to double in size. Bake in a preheated 400°f (200°c) oven for 8-10 minutes. Place on rack to cool.
You can freeze cookies baked or unbaked and they keep in a tightly sealed container about a week. If they last that long. Which is why we bake double batches.
sugar, 1/2 cup
cinnamon, 1 tbsp
Mix well. (Ummm, you were expecting steps perhaps? grin) If you want to keep a supply of this cinnamon sugar around, putting a 1/4 cup of cinnamon in a quart jar, fill it with sugar, close and shake to mix.
** Monstrrr is our favored term for children, particularly those of 3-4 years, the age when they are so fond of making monstrrry faces and noises.