Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Snickerdoodles :: Apparently Just an American Thing

I've been baking a lot for my office lately. For one thing, I think my coworkers deserve better treats than Restaurant Cravers Pringles and bread stick crackers on the snack counter. But it also gives me a great outlet to bake like crazy but not get diabetes by eating up a whole batch of cookies before they go bad.

I made Snickerdoodles from the Flour Bakery cookbook last week and they turned out great. That book is amazing. The response in the office to this particular batch was interesting. The Americans nearly jumped out of their seats to grab one, swooning over how much they loved Snickerdoodles. The non-Americans all sent me messages like "What is that?" and "A Snickerwhuddle?" and "Why's it called that?" Both responses surprised me. I like Snickerdoodles but they're such a simple cookies, I didn't think anyone would go ga ga over them. I also didn't expect anyone to question them and look at me like I'm playing an evil trick on them. It's just a cookie, man. Chill out.

Here's the recipe I emailed to an inquiring coworker:


114g room temperature butter
150g white sugar, plus about 30g for coating
1 room temperature egg
175g flour (I prefer a half and half mix of bread (strong) and cake (weak) flour but just one or the other would work too) 
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt (basically a pinch) 
1 tsp cream of tartar 

30g cinnamon
30g white sugar

1. Using a standing or hand mixer, cream the butter and 150g sugar until light and fluffy. About 5-8 minutes. Or you can use a wooden spoon, but this will take about 10-15 minutes. がんばってね!

2. Beat in the egg on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until it is thoroughly combined. Remember to use a rubber spatula to make sure all the butter and sugar a the bottom of the bowl is mixed in too. 

3. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt and cream of tar tar. On slow speed or with a wooden spoon, mix in the flour mixture just until all the flour is mixed in. 

4. In theory, you're supposed to fridge the dough over night so that the butter and sugar flavors really absorb into the cookies. But who has the patience? You can get away with just putting it in the fridge for a few hours, but I think the dough needs somewhat chilled before you bake so that it's not sticky and they don't spread too much. 

5. Mix the 30g sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. Using a spoon, scoop up some chilled dough and roll into a ball in your hands. Roll the dough in the cinnamon sugar mix and place the ball on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. The size depends on how big you want your cookies to be. When I made this recipe, I had about 22 cookies. 

I like lots of cinnamon and sugar, so I dip the balls in the sugar mix a second time just before going into the oven. 

Bake for 15-18 minutes at 180C or until the edges are golden. Let them cool for about 5 to 10 minutes before moving to a plate to cool. 

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