I realized today that I bake when I’m feeling a little droopy. Yes, I am a simple creature. Comfort food does indeed bring me comfort. So, today, I made for the very first time a cookie that many refined sugar eaters take for granted – the snickerdoodle. I didn’t know that this cookie had cinnamon and sugar as two of its basic ingredients. How would I know since I stopped eating refined sugar before ever entering the snickerdoodle world? (Though I realize that some people have been making and eating these cookies for a very long time). Still, in my case, I only came across the snickerdoodle once I moved to California in the mid-90’s, but these were always conventionally sweetened. So, today was a big day. My first taste of this delicious cookie sweetened with honey and maple sugar.
As I have said before, I am a huge fan of The Big Fat Cookie Cookbook by Elinor Klivans. Today, I took her recipe and simply made a few substitutions. However, for those of you who would prefer Klivans’s original recipe, I have included it below.
This recipe calls for cream of tartar and baking soda and apparently that accounts for the softness of this cookie. It is firm on the outside, but SOFT on the inside. Quite a treat.
I don’t know what a regular snickerdoodle tastes like, but if it’s anything like this, then I know why people like them so much.
Ray ate at least five. I may have had one or two…
So, here you go. When and if you want a pick-me-up from the aspects of life that are forcing you to stretch and grow emotionally, then whip up this recipe and try not to eat so many that you stretch and grow physically.
As always, if you try the recipe, please let me know how it turns out for you.
This is taken from The Big Fat Cookie Cookbook by Elinor Klivans, but has additional information to sweeten with honey and maple sugar instead of refined white sugar, if you prefer.
2 3/4 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour (add another 1/4 cup flour if you’re using honey)
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar (I used 1 1/4 cup honey for the batter + 1/2 cup maple sugar, plus an additional 1/4 cup maple sugar for the topping)
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) of vegetable shortening
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 350F | 175C. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a non-stick silicone baking mat.
Sift the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In a small bowl stir together 1/4 cup of the sugar (or maple sugar if you’re going the non-refined sugar route) + cinnamon: set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, vegetable shortening and remaining 1 1/2 cups of sugar (or 1 1/4 cup of honey + 1/4 cup maple sugar) until smooth and fluffy @ 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extract and mix until blended, about 1 minute. On low-speed, add the flour mixture, mixing just until it is incorporated. The dough will be soft and smooth.
If you’re using honey, then now you need to chill the dough until it’s firm. Otherwise, proceed with the directions below.
Using an ice-cream scoop or a measuring cup with 1/4 cup capacity, scoop out portions of dough. Roll each one between the palms of your hands into a smooth ball, roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar (or maple sugar) mixture to coat evenly, and place the cookies 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the bottoms + edges are golden for 18 mins. The centers of the cookies should feel firm on top and soft underneath – this indicates that the cookies will have the desired soft, slightly chewy center. Cool the cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool thoroughly.
Makes 18 cookies.