Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Subliminally Sublime Snickerdoodles

I think everyone has their thing.  That one item that is frequently associated with them.  It could be a meal, a dessert, a craft, it's not that this thing is their identity, or by any means all that they are, but there are associations being made.  It seems sacrilegious for me to make my friend's Thin Mint Truffles because that's what she bakes, what she brings to parties, but I have the recipe and think of her when I make them.  I see a particular book or author and am immediately reminded of the people who introduced them into my life.  Movies and TV shows are the same way, constant reminders of the people who care about them.  Those are their things.  What might my thing be?  I'm not going to pretend to think so highly of myself to be able to answer that question and honestly I think the answer would vary dramatically.  What I can say with certainty is that I've never met someone who hasn't said good things about my snickerdoodles.  These are my go to cookies for taking places, the one recipe of mine my Mom has asked me for.  You know you've done something well when your Mom is asking for recipes!  Oh and true story I have even mailed some to a friend in Paris!  (And I have it on good authority that they arrived...late, but still soft and tasty!)

*Please excuse the pictures as I share this deliciousness with the world.  My flash has been acting funky and combine that with a dark kitchen and constantly overcast skies outside and photography becomes difficult to say the least.*  Onward ho!
Any recipe that starts with these ingredients on the counter is guaranteed good results!
Butter and sugar are combined.  
Creamed until your arm cannot cream for another second (i.e. there are no stray sugar crystals lingering in the bottom)
Add in the eggs, mixing the beloved dough well, don't be afraid if it takes a little bit of time for everything to come together.  Just think of all the calories you're burning by mixing by hand and how many more cookies that will allow you to eat. :)
Add in all of the dry ingredients.
Stir people!  It will get thick, it will get creamy, you will feel as though there can't possible be any ingredients you haven't combined, and then, inevitably, you will find the telltale hidden dungeon of flour at the bottom of the bowl.  It's all worth it in the end.  I promise!
Separately we're mixing cinnamon and sugar for that perfect covering that makes a snickerdoodle a snickerdoodle.  Also, can we just say that name over and over again?  Snickerdoodle, snickerdoodle, snickerdoodle.  It's way more fun to say than it should be!
Roll dough into about 1" balls and then roll them into the cinnamon sugar mixture.  This may be one of my favorite sights in the world.  Baked goods ready to go into the oven, so tantalizing, and yet knowing full well that patience will be rewarded with even better things to come.
So good!  There was every intention of taking a picture of them prettily set up on a plate, but then they were brought to a party and one thing led to another and we were left with a very ravaged plate...
So there you have it!  Now you, yes you, can make these dreamy, chewy, perfect snickerdoodles.

1 C butter, softened (2 sticks)
1 1/2 C sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
2 T sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • Preheat the oven to 375
  • In a medium bowl cream together butter and 1 1/2 C sugar.  
  • Stir in the eggs.  
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.  
  • Stir dry ingredients into the creamed mixture until well blended.  
  • In a small bowl, stir together the 2 T of sugar and the cinnamon.  
  • Roll dough into 1" balls and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.  
  • Place on an ungreased cookie sheet 2" apart.  
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Tips & Tricks:
  • You could certainly use an electric mixer instead of doing it all by hand without it affecting the dough.
  • If you find that the dough is too soft to roll into balls (something that happened frequently when we lived in the heat and humidity of Virginia) you can stick the whole bowl of dough in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.  Because it is already a pretty stiff dough if you do choose to put it in the fridge for a bit you'll want to keep a close eye on it or it can become really difficult to work with.
  • If you don't have cream of tartar on hand, as I used to neglect to do inevitable when I was intentionally planning on baking these you can use the following substitution
    • Omit the baking soda and instead use baking powder.  
    • 1 tsp of baking powder = 1/4 tsp baking soda + 5/8 tsp cream of tartar (for those who care here's some of what that math looks like, otherwise skip down to the next bullet for exactly what you need.) 
      • 4(1/4) tsp baking soda is 1 tsp
      • 3.25(5/8) tsp cream of tartar is equal to 2 tsp
      • We want to err on the side of making it precise to the cream of tarter because any extra baking soda we need can simply be added in addition to the baking powder.
    • So in place of baking soda and cream of tartar add 3 1/4 tsp of baking powder and 3/4 tsp baking soda.
    • And you thought you'd never need to use math :)
    • I've used this substitution a number of times and have never found that it messes with how the cookies bake or taste.
Thanks for reading and happy baking!    

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