Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Snickerdoodle Saga


Since Blogger.com decided to eat my original post this morning I headed off to bake the dozens of cookies I need for my daughter's Christmas party. What is that saying about the "best laid plans?"

First we had to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas-cute movie, funny songs-then we got down to the business of baking cookies; copious amounts of cookies.

(Above: Innocuous looking little buggers, huh?)

Now, I love to cook but my enthusiasm for food runs toward roasting, braising, sauteing ... baking is just not my thing; at least not when it comes to cookies!

Don't get me wrong, I love to eat cookies, I even love to search for new recipes; I just don't like implementing them. It's the actual baking time that always seems to be my breaking point. Scooping out all of those little dollops, watching to see that they don't burn, taking them out of the oven at the peak of their perfection ... see where I'm going with this?

I started out making the Snickerdoodle batter. Everything went fine. Popped the batter into the fridge to chill and moved on to make the chocolate chip batter. Again, I have no problems mixing the stuff up, it's that actual baking thing that gets me-every time!

The chocolate chip cookies spread halfway across the sheet pan, (don't ask me why, I said I didn't do this part well!), then proceeded to brown around the edges so I took them out. Now the recipe says "cool on sheet for 2 minutes then transfer, blah, blah, blah. I followed the directions, so I'd like for someone to explain to me why they were stuck like glue to the sheet pan? Huh, anybody?

I managed to get about 3 dozen usable for "company" cookies out of the batter. The rest are for "immediate family" only. So now on to the Snickerdoodle Saga, (trust me, it only went downhill after the chocolate chip cookies).

I grease the sheet pans, roll teaspoonfuls of chilled dough in cinnamon and sugar, and place them about 2 inches apart on the pans: Just Like It Said!!

You know what I'm going to say, don't you? (Go ahead, take a minute and laugh ... I'll wait.)

The darn cookies took their cue from the chocolate chip revolt and spread all over the place! One big blob of a Snickerdoodle;tasted pretty good but in no way resembling any cookie I've ever seen.

However, I persevered. The next round went into the oven and I set the timer for 3 minutes before the recipe said they'd be done. I was going to catch those little devils before they merged. Yeah, well I happened to be tweeting at the time ... and must not of heard the timer go off.

Let's just end this now. It's depressing me all over again. The last batch somehow survived and look decent enough to give away and I'm DONE baking; for the night anyway :(.











(The best of the bunch: not saying much!)



Want to try Snickerdoodles? They really are delicious-I'm just a lousy cookie maker.


Snickerdoodles


Ingredients


2 1/4 cups flour


2 teaspoons cream of tartar (find in the spice section-it's a stabilizer, though not apparently for willful cookies intent upon spreading to- China!)


1 teaspoon baking soda


1/2 teaspoon salt


2 sticks of butter, softened


1 1/2 cups sugar


2 large eggs


*****


Into a small bowl put


1/2 cup sugar


2 teaspoons cinnamon


Instructions (Relax, highly doubtful you'll share my experience-I'm under a cookie curse)


1. Preheat oven to 350


2. Line baking sheets with parchment or spray with vegetable spray


3. Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar, and baking soda into a bowl and set aside.


4. In a mixing bowl: cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.


5. Add eggs, one at a time and mix well


6. Turn mixer to low and slowly add flour mixture until all is incorporated


7. Chill dough for 30-60 minutes


8. Once chilled: Take rounded teaspoon size amounts of dough, shape into a ball and roll in the cinnamon and sugar mixture until coated. Place on greased cookie sheets.

9. Bake for 13-16 minutes (Warning! Recipe is lying here-watch those suckers like a hawk!) or until the outside of the cookies feel slightly firm to the touch. (I've got no advice for this-see above!)

If you try this recipe give me a shout and let me know if they turned out right.
As for me? I'm thinking I need to call my Aunt Trinia: she makes the best Snickerdoodles in the world. "Hmmm, wonder how soon FedEx could get those babies here?"


10 comments:

  1. Yum - this recipe sounds great and I know a way to make it EVEN easier: I'll get Hubby to bake them. Mwuhahahahha

    ;-)

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  2. Just guessing, but I'd try 'em again with only one stick of butter. Are you using an electric oven? If so, take the temp down to 325, and check 'em in about 15 min. Use the parchment paper or bake on a pizza stone. Then you don't have to grease the cookie sheet. As for the sticking, let them sit long enough to firm up. Maybe not quite the 2 minutes, but wait just long enough so that you can move them without them falling apart. Oh, how I miss baking... Can't wait til next week - school's out and I can play in the kitchen!

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  3. *Ahem. Done laughing now* Rachel these sound delicious. I need to share my fortune cookie recipe with you. NO WAY to mess that one up. :) I will save this one and try it however. Thank you for the giggle...er, tips.

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  4. Sounds like too much fat and/or not enough flour. Here's the Betty Crocker version:

    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
    1/2 cup shortening
    2 eggs
    2 3/4 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose or unbleached flour
    2 teaspoons cream of tartar
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup sugar
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon



    1. Heat oven to 400ºF.
    2. Mix 1 1/2 cups sugar, the butter, shortening and eggs in large bowl. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.
    3. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Mix 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
    4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

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  5. @ Maeve: that sounds like a great plan, I need to implement it!
    @ Jessica: my mom asked about the butter thing too; but she thought I might have used margarine (psht, like I even have that stuff in my house: she knows me better than that!) Seriously though, you think I could take the butter down by half? Would be great for lowering the fat content and if it corrals the little suckers I'm doubly happy. Will try what you recommend Saturday when I attempt another batch: since you are the MASTER baker, if it doesn't work I'll know for sure it is me!

    @ Calisa: glad to help lighten your evening! I got the fortune cookie recipe and can't wait to try it: really neat idea; my daughter will LOVE it.

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  6. Amy, there is a consensus forming over this butter issue :) I'm going to cut it back and try again. But now that you mention the flour thing I remember that my nine year old was helping me(she later took off with the bag of the choc. chipsleaving me to finish all the clean-up :)Her job was to measure the flour and I usually watch her do it but this time I had my back to her:I was trying to hurry by getting the butter and sugar creamed ... could be little Miss didn't put quite enough in: and Big Mrs. here should have paid attention, esp. since I wondered about the dough being so sticky after chilling! This is what I get for being double minded while baking; I was preoccupied with my book's progress when I should have been focusing on the cookies. Oh well, if at first you don't succeed ...
    Thanks for the tips!

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  7. Oh man, I can totally relate to that story! :) Thanks for the giggle.

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  8. My pleasure Rebecca; just doing my civic duty :)

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  9. Yeah, my cooking skills seem to related to yours. Just let me cook meat and I'm good.

    I'll leave the baking to my daughter.

    Janice~

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  10. LOL Janice, I'm with you! I used to be a pretty decent baker but over the last couple of years my skills in that department have dwindled to zero, er perhaps even into the negative numbers!
    This experience has reminded me of my beautiful but thoroughly tasteless bread last Thanksgiving: I think this is my cue to stick with meat and sauces; I'm pretty good at those. At least I think I am since no one around here is withering away to nothing!
    Thanks for stopping by :)

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