14 April 2010

Snickerdoodles



I'm an American.  As much as I forget sometimes, I'm always reminded when I bake a cookie like the snickerdoodle.  The first time I made them for my friends "over here", I got some very interesting looks.  People in this country, so sadly, have never heard of the snickerdoodle.  The classic American cookie, with its ridiculous name, got lots of laughs (and mmmmms, and ohmahgods) from my new British friends.

I've always had a great snickerdoodle recipe, and honestly, I have no idea where it came from.  I wish I could say that I found it in my grandmother's cookbooks - but she didn't have any.  I wanted it to be hand-written on an index card in the back of one of her kitchen cupboards, but it wasn't.  Grandma died when I was still too young to learn anything culinary from her (except for the importance of keeping one's man steadily supplied with cookies - that one, I learned very well).  I found this recipe somewhere on the interwebs, years ago, and I'll be damned if I can remember where.  It yields a slightly crisp outside edge, and perfect softness on the inside.

They are best right out of the oven, still warm, standing with your boyfriend in your kitchen.  Yeah, I'm single, but the only thing I can imagine that would make these better is if they were eaten in boyfriendland.  If I had a boyfriend, I imagine he'd fall in love with me instantly upon taking his first bite.  Seriously, if there's any man out there who doesn't appreciate a woman who has mastered the art of the snickerdoodle... well, I don't want him anyway.

**ooh, I almost forgot to tell you - these make awesome gifts.  Stick 'em in a tin or a glass canister, and they make a lovely hostess gift.

Snickerdoodles

2 3/4 US cups (310 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 US cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 US cups (310 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Coating:
1/3 US cup (70 grams) granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place rack in the centre of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. 

In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until smooth (about 2 to 3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and mix until you have a smooth dough.

Mix together cinnamon and sugar coating.

Shape the dough into 1- to 1 1/2- inch round balls.  Coat in cinnamon-sugar mixture and place on the prepared pan, spacing about 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies for about 8 - 10 minutes, or until they are light golden brown around the edges. My oven is finicky and bakes much faster, so keep an eye on them. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

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