Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Happy Administrative Professionals Day!

Andrew asked me last minute to make something to bring in for the paralegals in his office. One is notoriously finicky and doesn't like nuts or nut flavors.  When checking my larder (I feel like Laura Ingalls Wilder when I use that term) I realized that I had NO chocolate chips. Which is weird for a frequent baker like me. I had two bags of white chocolate chips, one bag of mini chocolate chips, 10 bags of butterscotch chips (thanks to a care package from my mom) but no regular chocolate chips so that ruled out chocolate chip cookies.

I decided to keep it simple and go for a snickerdoodle - after all, who can resist the classic combo of sugar and cinnamon?

I was also excited to make my first recipe from the Rosie's Bakery Chocolate-Packed Jam-Filled Butter-Rich No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book. Please note that traditional snickerdoodle recipes tend to call for cream of tartar and shortening, and end up producing flat cookies.  I have visions of a crisp exterior and a soft interior, and I just like my cookies to be more domed in shape, so I was happy that this recipe seemed to fit the bill!

Baker's Best Snickerdoodles from the Rosie's Baker Chocolate-Packed Jam-Filled Butter-Rich No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups plus 2 Tbsp sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper, or grease them lightly with vegetable oil (or use Silpat liners).

2. Sift the flour, baking powder and sal together into a small bowl and set aside.

3. Combine the cinnamon with the 2 Tbsp sugar in a small bowl (I poured these ingredients directly into a sturdy freezer Ziploc bag). Stir together thoroughly, and pour into a plastic bag (or shake thoroughly in the bag).

4. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter, remaining sugar and vanilla together in a medium-sized mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 minute. Stop the mixer once during the process to scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula, and scrape the bowl again at the end.

5.  Add the eggs and beat on medium speed until they are blended, about 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl.

6. Add half of the flour mixture, and mix on low speed for 10 seconds. Scrape the bowl Add the remaining flour mixture and blend on low for 25 seconds, stopping the mixer twice to scrape the bowl.

7.  Measure out generously rounded tablespoons of the dough and roll them into balls with your hands. (I used my medium-sized Oxo cookie scoop and dropped the dough directly into the sugar/cinnamon bag without rolling it first).

8.  Place 2 cookies at a time in the cinnamon/sugar mixture and shake the bag to coat (important - don't add extra cinnamon. I decided to add some turbinado sugar to the bag and added more cinnamon to balance out the sugar. The cinnamon is so fine that it coats the entire surface of the cookie without letting a lot of sugar to stick, so I recommed sticking with the recipe's original amount of cinnamon). Then place the balls 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and bake until the centers are risen and slightly cracked and the edges are crisp, 16 to 18 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets.

Because I used my cookie scoop and didn't roll the cookies, my cookies had a beautiful crackled pattern on top (similar to the grooves that ice cream has after you've scooped it, if that makes sense).  While I wish a little more sugar had stuck to the surface of the cookies, they still tasted fabulous.

I stacked ten cookies and packaged them in beautiful containers (from the Paula Deen collection at Michael's - I bought them on clearance last year and now I wish I had bought more! As I was in a rush this morning, I forgot to take a picture of the containers but you get the gist of what they looked like.

I hope the cookies looked this good as the paralegals opened their packages - Andrew reported back that the cookies were a hit (even with the picky coworker).  You can't go wrong with a simple, classic cookie with tons of flavor.  Although I do want to try to make the other version of snickerdoodles since the cream of tartar is supposed to give it a distinctive "sour" taste.

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