Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Moving Day Snickerdoodles

As I mentioned, it was the big moving weekend and my baby sister has a beautiful new home of her own. I would like to say that I helped put together the copious amounts of Ikea furniture but I hate Allan keys and all the teenie tiny fiddly bolts and screws that come along with their products, so I did what I do best in these "crisis" situations, I bake.
I wouldn't call it a crisis exactly but it was hectic in its own way. A goofy dog slipping across the wood floors, a baby toddling along in all her cuteness, two boys, and a whole lot of adults. I think we accomplished quite a bit and I, for one, built two bar stools using the stupidest wrench ever created. So that is a victory in itself.

As for the baking, I continued on my quest for the perfect Snickerdoodle. As an aside, I seem to go on quite a few "perfect" quests. I have it in my mind that there is this giant recipe box of perfection itself sitting around, and I do not have all these recipes, therefore I must hunt for them until my recipe box is "Suzy Homemaker" worthy. The Snickerdoodle is one such recipe. It seems like such a simple recipe - it is pretty much just a sugar cookie rolled in cinnamon sugar - yet it is so much more. The texture is what I cannot match. It needs to be more like a biscuit - quite dense and yet still moist. Most recipes usually end up tasting like I took my Christmas cookie recipe and rolled it in cinnamon. Not the desired effect at all. This, by far, has been the most disappointing of all my quests. I did end up with a half way decent Maple Snickerdoodle recipe at Christmas time but it wasn't amazing and I am not sure it would be considered a favorite. So this batch of cookies is one that I found on the internet after searching for the Pepperidge Farms Snickerdoodle recipe. My only suggestion is to make the cookies bigger than walnuts - probably two tablespoons of dough as opposed to one. I think that is the important aspect of a Snickerdoodle, the sheer size of them. Also, the timing is hard to get right. 325 degrees is a good temperature but I suggest pulling them out of the oven when they look puffed up as if they may burst, otherwise they are only soft for that brief warm and chewy moment and then hard ever after. Test your oven with the first batch - 12 minutes was perfect in mine.
My final piece of advice is to use the Cream of Tartar. Do not skip this ingredient. It is what gives them that sour cream taste that a normal sugar cookie just does not have.

Pepperidge Farm Soft Baked Snickerdoodle Cookies
1 cup butter (2 sticks), melted
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 egg
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Use electric mixer on medium speed to combine butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla in medium bowl until smooth.
In separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
Mix dry ingredients into wet stuff using the electric mixer on medium/low speed until dough is smooth.
Mix topping ingredients together in small bowl.
Measure one heaping tablespoon (or try 2 T.) of the dough and roll it into a ball with your hands. Press half of cookie dough ball into the cinnamon/sugar.
Place ball, sugared-side-up, on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 12 minutes or until cookies just begin to turn light brown. Be careful not to bake cookies too long, or they won't be soft like the originals.

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