Sunday, December 10, 2006

Snickerdoodles ...

This might just be the best cookie name in the history of cookie names. It's just so silly.

And these cookies are a total delight. Simple, simple, simple, but professional-looking as all get out. And while they're baking, the most lovely cinnamon-sugar aroma wafts out of the oven.

The recipe is from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book, a childhood favorite. Thinking back, it was the first cookbook I ever read. Bakers and cooks love to skim cookbooks, but the Cooky Book is chock full of pictures of cookies, and when you're a kid, well, what could be better reading?

Mom's copy is a wreck but clearly well-loved. The covers are torn off. The pages are stained. The book was republished recently, so she could have a brand-spankin'-new copy, but where's the nostalgia in that?

I'm conflicted about making this recipe, because it calls for shortening, evil, evil trans fat. After the holidays, I'll try a batch of these using all butter, but I suspect the texture will markedly change. Frankly, I wonder if the Crisco people will continue to market this stuff, seeing as how it's like Satan in a can. But hey, I bought the stuff today, so I guess they'll keep making it as long as people keep buying it. Next year, though, I plan to eliminate any recipes that call for Crisco, or develop alternative recipes. I'll test 'em in the off-season. I'm sure I'll find willing tasters.

The only thing I do differently than the recipe suggests is to make more cinnamon sugar in which to roll the cookie balls before baking. Today I used a 4-to-4 ratio (tablespoons of sugar to teaspoons of cinnamon).

(Side note: I am totally geeked about creating the photos to go with these blog posts! I have unleashed my inner food stylist and photographer!)

2008 Update: 1) Crisco is now trans fat-free, so I continue to use it and I simply don't question what potentially evil method is being employed now to turn a liquid into a solid; and 2) a 3:3 ratio of tablespoons of sugar to teaspoons of cinnamon is just about perfect. You'll have a little left over, but better to toss a tiny amount than to just eke by with the 2:2 as written in the recipe.

(From Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book, Published by General Mills, 1963)

1 C. shortening (part butter or margarine; I use a half-cup of shortening and a stick of butter)
1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 C. flour
2 t. cream of tartar
1 t. soda
1/4 t. salt
2 T. sugar
2 t. cinnamon

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix shortening, 1 1/2 C. sugar and eggs. Measure flour by dipping method*. Blend flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Blend into shortening mixture. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in combined 2 T. sugar and 2 t. cinnamon. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes.

* Dipping method: Slightly fluff up flour with a spoon or measuring cup. Dip measuring cup into flour and overfill. Level off measuring cup.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not photograph the 600 cookies I baked in 24 hours, but I did make snickerdoodles. Final total included: 5 lbs. flour, 3 lbs. sugar, 2 lbs. brown sugar, 2 lbs. butter, 1 lb. margerine, 8 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate, 5 cups chocolate chips, 4 cups dried cranberries, 2 cups dried cherries, 2 boxes of oatmeal, several cups of walnuts and pecans, a bottle of vanilla extract and teaspoons and teaspoons of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cream of tartar, salt and pepper (yes, for ginger cookies). And honey. I was covered from head to toe in flour and reeked like chocolate when I was done.

3:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will gladly taste test any cookies you wish to send to me. You know I am a huge sweet tooth. Merry Christmas Bitches!

2:54 PM  

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