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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Snickerdoodles

When I was baking to supplement my farmer's market income, I made a lot of cookies. Usually, I made chocolate chip cookies. One day, on a whim, I decided to pull out the ol' snickerdoodle recipe. I was shocked at their popularity! They went like hot cakes. The other thing that I found interesting was that 90% of the time, the customer would say something to this effect, "Snickerdoodles! My favorite! I haven't had those in ages!" And then they would promptly buy a package.

So, the questions always in my mind were: Why hadn't they had them in ages? Are they hard to find in the stores (I've found, in general, that the answer is yes)? Have they forgotten that snickerdoodles exist in this complex world? Or did they just not have a good recipe to make them?

If the answer for you is the later, your snickerdoodle missing days are over.

The first step is to cream some butter and sugar. I love recipes that start with butter and sugar... it's a good sign of things to come.

Then beat in a couple of eggs. I beat the dough pretty thoroughly at this point so that it is slightly fluffy; then I don't have to worry about over mixing later and ending up with tough cookies.

Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Be sure that you use real cream of tarter. Packaging can sometimes be a bit misleading. You want potassium salt of tartaric acid AKA potassium bitartrate or potassium hydrogen tartrate. It is a byproduct of wine making and it is what gives snickerdoodles their distinct taste. Fake cream of tarter just won't cut it here.

Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add it kind of slowly, unless a flour cloud appeals to you. Just mix until the dough is well incorporated.

Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. It is much easier to work with if the butter is firmed up a little.

I use a size 40 disher to make my cookies a uniform shape and size. Additionally, the disher just makes things easier. Prepare a bowl of cinnamon sugar for dipping. Line a baking sheet with parchment or simply use an ungreased cookie sheet. Scoop out cookies and dip the tops in the sugar mixture. If you are doing this the old fashioned way and hand forming balls, just roll the balls in sugar. When you're using a disher, one side is flat and I find it easier to not worry about coating the bottom.

These babies spread out pretty good. I usually can fit eight cookies on an 11x17 inch sheet pan. In this case, I only cooked six and on the other pan filled it full of ready to go cookie dough balls (dipped in sugar, too) that I froze and then put in a zip top bag. This way I can have fresh baked cookies whenever I get the need without having the make them from scratch.

Bake until they are nice and crackly. If you like them to be firm and somewhat crunchy when cooled, then bake them until they start to turn slightly golden. If you like them more soft and chewy, then pull them out as soon as they look even slightly done. It is easy to overcook them if you're shooting for soft, chewy cookies.


Snickerdoodles
Yield: 24 cookies (when using a size 40 disher)

1 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp cream of tarter
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 TBS sugar

Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs until the batter is light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined. Chill the dough until fairly stiff, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a small, shallow bowl. Use a size 40 disher to portion and shape cookies. Dip the top, round half of the cookies in the sugar mixture and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes until the tops are cracked and the edges are dry looking.

4 comments:

  1. Snickerdoodles are my daughter's favorite, but I've never cared for the taste that the cream of tartat gives them. I use Emeril Lagasse's recipe from the Food Network website, which has no cream of tartar in it.

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  2. These look wonderful. I haven't made them before but if I saw some at a farmer's market I would definitely buy them:) I'll need to pick up some cream of tartar to make my own.

    I just found your blog and scrolled to the bottem and boy am I hungry now. Everything looks SO good. And so does that goody basket, definitely add my comment to those that you'll be choosing from.

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  3. I've never tried Sinckerdoodles, they are still pretty unknown in the UK, but plan to make some soon. Have you ever thought of selling them as a sideline business? I wonder if I started to that in the UK whether they would catch on big time and I could quit my job?!

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  4. Hi Quick Easy Suppers! I sold snickerdoodles when I was selling at farmer's markets up in Ohio and they were always a hit. It seemed as if folks had kind of forgotten about them and were so excited to try them again. They have such a good flavor and are so quick and easy to make. I'd love to quit my job to make cookies... that sounds like so much fun!

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