Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kitchen Adventures: Snickerdoodles

The history of the snickerdoodle is uncertain at best. Some claim it came from German bakers, while others mark the Dutch as responsible. There's also some who claim the whimsically named cookie originated in New England. Regardless of where the Snickerdoodle has its roots, it's basically a sugar cookie leavened by utilizing cream of tartar as it's acid component.

It's pretty darn tasty too.

Cinnamon, sugary, buttery goodness

Almost every cookie starts with the butter, sugar,
egg creaming phase.

And moves right on into the addition of the dry
ingredients which have been previously whisked
Snickerdoodles are rolled cookies, and that means there's a little bit of setup required before you can start to place them onto the baking sheet.  I use a cookie scoop for all of my cookie baking because it allows you to get even scoops of the dough. I've combined my cinnamon sugar mixture into small bowl that I can easily roll a ball of dough around in, and on the right there's a bowl of ice water to keep my hands from getting too warm. If your hands get too warm, it will start to melt the fats in the dough and your cookies can fall flat in the oven. I honestly doubt this is actually a concern for most people, but I tend to run warmer and so I have to make sure I'm not half melting my cookies.

Cookie scoop and dough on the left, cinnamon sugar
mixture in the middle and a bowl of ice water to the right.

Parchment paper makes baking several batches of cookies
much easier.

Step #1: Get a scoop of dough.

Step #2: Place dough in the palm of your hand and
roll into a ball

Step #3: Place ball into cinnamon sugar mixture and
roll around until completely coated.

Step #4: Remove the coated ball of cookie dough
from the cinnamon sugar.

Step #5: Place the cookie dough ball onto a baking sheet
lined with parchment paper.

I rather like these cookies.  They have that delicious melt-in-your-mouth buttery goodness, and would be an excellent accompaniment to a cup of coffee or tea. That being said, I think they need to have more of a cinnamon pop to them. It's a minor complaint and mostly a personal one I think, but when I envision snickerdoodles, they always have a stronger cinnamon flavor.