Today’s post is just a short and sweet one, kind of like these Snickerdoodles: really easy to whip up in a post-holiday-feast haze. I’m sure we’re all there right now, eyes slightly glazed over and not sure we can stuff another item of food into our bellies. But I’m here to tell you that yes! You can! And if you’re going to put anything else in there, it should be these.
What are Snickerdoodles? To me, they’re the most American of all the cookies. Chocolate chip? Please. Iced sugar cookies? Don’t make me laugh. Everyone knows these cookies. You can find them in lots of countries. But say the word “Snickerdoodle” to anyone who isn’t American or who doesn’t have a baking-obsessed American friend, and you might be greeted with a confused look.
Snickerdoodles are the softest, pillowiest, most moreish cookies that exist on this earth. If you can only have one, you are made of stronger stuff than me.
Despite the fact that an entire day of intense Christmas cooking was looming in the future, I managed to whip up a batch on Christmas Eve. As Rob and I sat on the couch and blitzed through a few episodes of The Sopranos, rolling cookie dough in the addictive mix of cinnamon and sugar, sharing a bottle of wine, I couldn’t think of a more pleasureable way to spend our evening. That is, of course, until we stuffed our faces with hot, fresh cookies and a glass of milk.
Are you ready? I bet you are.
360 g flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
230 g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla bean paste/extract
150 g caster sugar
120 g brown sugar
6 tablespoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons white sugar
Preheat the oven to 200 C. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt. In a separate, large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until it is pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until combined; then add the vanilla paste and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture a bit at a time, stirring until you have a thoroughly mixed dough.
Roll the dough into a ball and wrap it in clingfilm. Chill it for at least half an hour so that the cookies will hold their shape better when they are baked. After the dough has chilled, shape the dough into small balls using an ice cream scoop (or a normal spoon to scoop up the same amount that an ice cream scoop would hold) and roll the balls in a mixture of the 6 tbsp cinnamon and 3 tbsp sugar. Place the dough balls on a baking sheet and bake them for 10-15 minutes. The cookies will flatten out a bit, but still look quite thick and puffy. When they are done, they will look browned around the edges and dry on top as well (it can be hard to tell about the browning since they are covered in cinnamon). If you take them out and they are underdone, you can always put them back in, even after they have cooled a bit.
The finished Snickerdoodles are best served right out of the oven (okay… let them cool a bit so you don’t burn your mouth) with an ice cold glass of milk or a nice cup of tea. The best thing about them is that they’ll stay soft for the next day, so even if you don’t eat them all at once, they’ll still be just as good tomorrow. If you don’t use up all the dough at once, you can always wrap it up and it’ll keep in the refrigerator for a few days as well, so that you can have fresh Snickerdoodles whenever the mood strikes.
I hope you have all had a lovely holiday season wherever you are and whomever you’ve celebrated with! Can you believe it’s almost 2015? I feel like it was only a short time ago that I wrote a post welcoming 2014 and made all these plans and had all these ideas… somehow the months have slipped by way too fast. But that’s the subject of another more reflective post coming up in the next few days, as well as a recap of some of the new coffee places in London. Until then, I’d love to hear about your holidays. What are your plans for New Year’s Eve? Are you staying home, visiting family, or getting away to some exotic place?