Snickerdoodles

snickerdoodles

snickerdoodles

When I grew up I wanted to be like Bonnie Garmen. The mother of a friend of mine, Bonnie brought hot cocoa when we skated on Connected Lakes in winter and drove us to Green Mountain Falls in summer. She wore pressed khaki Capris, gold clip-on earrings, and her kitchen sink was turquoise—always elegant and gracious. Bonnie welcomed me into her kitchen like a pal even though I was just a teenager. She made me lunches of tomato aspic or crab toasts, and we shared recipes on her porch. I still have several of her name-topped recipe cards in my file, and the ingredients spill out in my schoolgirl’s scrawl.

When a July day arrived that was not too hot to switch on the oven and I thought about a picnic cookie good with ice cream, I scrambled through my old file box to find Bonnie’s Snickerdoodles.

The original recipe calls for shortening which I now replace with butter, and since I’m sensitive to the aftertaste of chemical leavenings I have reduced both the cream of tartar and the soda. To turn the cookie into something crisp and flat, perfect for little ice cream sandwiches, use the alternative leavenings of baking powder and less soda. Make half the recipe on the first go to see if it’s comfortable, and allow time for the dough to chill before shaping. Like snicklefritz, snickerdoodle may be a nonsense word of German origin, but this cookie’s been around for generations making it sensible enough.

Snickerdoodles

8 oz. butter 2 sticks
10½ oz. sugar 1½ cups
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
12½ oz. all purpose flour 2½ cups
1½ teaspoons cream of tartar*
¾ teaspoon baking soda*
½ teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons sugar plus 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

*use 2 teaspoons baking powder plus ¼ teaspoon soda for alternative leavening.

Cream softened butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Sift over flour, cream of tartar, soda (or baking powder and soda) and salt. Mix well to combine into soft dough. Scrape dough onto sheet of plastic wrap, fold edges to cover, flatten and chill at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 375º.  Roll chilled dough into balls cherry-size for small cookies or walnut-size for larger cookies. Shake rolled balls in bowl of mixed cinnamon and sugar to coat completely.
Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment or Silpat mats.  Bake 10–12 minutes or until lightly browned around edges and still soft in center. Makes 6–8 dozen cookies.

Mary Jo's Cookbook is available at Amazon

Mary Jo’s Cookbook is available at Amazon

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