Monday, July 28, 2008


Ah, Snickerdoodles. Such great cookies. They have a taste that reminds many of good pancakes. And yet, you can hold them in your hand, take them with you, eat them piles at a time next to the ocean.

OK, you can do that with any cookie. I guess I just love Snickerdoodles. So, when my mom asked me to make some, I obliged.

How could I say no? Not only did she ask, but she provided the recipe. It's nice when people make it so easy for you.

Cookie Dough
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix the butter, shortening, and sugar well. Make sure that they are thoroughly whipped together. Takes a few minutes in the mixer on medium.

Then, add the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly again.

Finally, add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Blend well, but not too long. Stop when the dough is smooth and appears that everything is well mixed in. Mixing too long will start to form gluten. That would be bad. These cookies have a somewhat cake-like texture that would be destroyed by gluten production. A crime in many countries!

Here's the hard part: chill the dough in your fridge for at least two hours. Yes, you have to wait. Go watch TV. Go sleep. Just put it in and walk away. Your patience will be rewarded.

The dough tends to be very sticky unless refrigerated. Very hard to work with. Here in the Philippines, the dough is nearly impossible to work with unless chilled well.

You can pass a little of the time while waiting for your cookie goodness by making the cinnamon coating.

Cinnamon Coating
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Put both into a small bowl and mix thoroughly. You want to mix until it is the same color all through.

Putting It All Together

Hopefully, it's a couple of hours later and your dough is chilled by now. Preheat your oven to 400F (200C). Get out your dough.

In the picture, you can see some dough that had been allowed to get too warm. It was very difficult to work with. Very sticky and soft. So, be sure to chill the dough thoroughly! In a high heat environment like here in the Philippines, take out enough dough for each batch and leave the rest in your fridge.

For each cookie, scoop out a small piece of dough about 2 tablespoons in size. I measured each piece to be 50 grams on my kitchen scale (love that thing!). Roll it between your hands into a nice ball. Then completely cover the ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Place the cookies a couple of inches apart on a baking sheet. I use parchment paper. A silicone baking sheet will work great, too.

Bake for 8 minutes. Yes, that's not a range of time. Bake for 8 minutes. And longer and you end up with burnt nasty cookies. Eight, 8, ocho ... minutes.

When they come out of the oven, take them off the baking sheet immediately. You do not want the bottoms to continue to get all that heat. Remember, there's a cinnamon-sugar coating on it. That will burn and taste horrid.

You can see in the picture to the left that the cookies grew together. That's because the batch was with dough that was not chilled enough. The cookies spread out too much because the dough was soft to begin with. Still, they were delicious!

Here are the final products packaged and ready to go to the testers ...

Test Results

Primary Test Group: Consumed with zeal. Loved the cookies and demanded more.

Test Group C: Marasa (tastes good). Had the usual complaint that I did not deliver enough of the test food for them to enjoy. When asked how many I should bring next time, reply was "two dozen".

Test Group J: Very good first batch. Cookies were a bit too soft and crumbled. Still, delicious.

Test Group M: Very good. Enjoyed. Wanted more.

Potential Improvements

Chill the dough more. Only bring out enough dough for each batch while forming the cookies and baking.


Winner. As far as I could tell, everyone liked these.


Lore said...

They sure look like winners to me! LOL at "had the usual complaint that I did not deliver enough of the test food for them to enjoy"-that's the best result anyone can hope for!

James said...

Thanks! Yes, I love that, too. I heard today "bring more next time!" We all had a good laugh.