Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Sugar and Spice Makes Cookies So Nice.

Snickerdoodle, a whimsical name for a cookie laden with sugar and cinnamon.  Depending on the recipe, this light cookie can be crunchy with a crackled top, or soft like a thin cake.  Now the question is, why the name Snickerdoodle?  “The Joy of Cooking” (in print since 1936) claims it is of German descent; corruption of the word Schneckennudel meaning "snail noodles". Then there are the Dutch with their word “snekrad” which also means “snail”.  The only thing I see similar to a snail is the round, sticky dough balls rolled in the sugar/cinnamon coating. 

Personally I lean towards the third theory of origin, 19th century New England, and the habit of giving whimsical names.  Geography lesson time!  New England is a geographical region which comprises six states of the northeastern United States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.  It is bordered by the state of New York to the west and south which leads to Utah.  If you are looking at a United States map right now, you’ve done a double take on what I have just written, and I’ve totally lost you.  Let’s follow my disjointed logic; Brigham Young  and Joseph Smith were born and raised Vermont; however, they developed their Mormon following in New York which eventually traveled to the Midwestern states, and finally to Utah.  So it shouldn’t be a wonder for the love of Snickerdoodles by Utahns.

Here is the recipe from The Joy of Cooking.



Flour -- 2 cups
Cream of tartar -- 2 teaspoons
Baking soda -- 1 teaspoon
Salt -- 1/4 teaspoon
Unsalted butter, cut into chunks, room temperature -- 1/2 pound, or 2 sticks
Sugar -- 1 1/2 cups plus 1/4 cup
Eggs -- 2
Cinnamon -- 4 teaspoons


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.

2. Add the butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer and cream together on medium speed until the butter is light and fluffy and the sugar is well incorporated. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the egg, beating until it is incorporated.

3. Remove the bowl from the mixer and mix in the dry ingredients with a spatula until well blended. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.

4. Mix together the 1/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Form walnut-sized balls out of the cookie dough and roll the balls in the cinnamon-sugar. Place the balls on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart.

5. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, turning the pan once for even baking. Cool 5 to 10 minutes on the pan, and then remove to a rack and cool completely.

About 2 dozen cookies.

A month or so ago, I was shopping at Walmart and came upon “Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies” in the bakery department.  Now while we love pumpkin cookies, the incorporation of Snickerdoodles was tempting to taste test.  Primarily they were regular pumpkin cookies with an extra sugary topping, and a slight crispness around the edges.  While not impressed, it did give me the inspiration to create my own version.  My wonderful “guinea pigs” from the Monticello City Office, San Juan Record and Monticello Welcome Center were pretty much in agreement; soft cookie with a slight pumpkin taste, more of the Snickerdoodle coming out in my version.

Especially at this time of the year when pumpkins are being carved into Halloween décor; “the guts” being converted into roasted pumpkin seeds; the meat going into pies and breads, now you have another type of pumpkin cookie to make!  Serve them up next to the Thanksgiving desserts; place a few on Santa’s plate for that extra good girl/boy gift in your stocking.  Then again, a few on your own little plate, a steaming hot mug of cocoa, a good book to lose yourself in, now that’s cozy comfort time!


Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies


3 and ¼ cups all-purpose flour
3 and ½ tsp cornstarch
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar (golden for light coloring; dark for darker coloring of cookies)
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled.
1 large egg yolk
1 (15 oz.) canned pure pumpkin  
1 and ½ tsp vanilla extract

For rolling:

¼ cup granulated sugar
1 and ½ tsp ground cinnamon


In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg; set aside. 


In a large bowl, cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar, but only to combine, not to the pale and fluffy stage.   Mix in egg yolk, pumpkin and vanilla extract thoroughly.  

Still Use My Tupperward Egg Separator.

Set mixer on low; slowly add in dry ingredients until combined; scrape down sides to incorporate all ingredients.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap, chill in refrigerator for 1 hour; dough will be slightly sticky, but manageable for rolling.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.


In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cinnamon. Scoop dough out 1 tablespoon at a time, roll into a ball; roll dough ball in cinnamon sugar mixture to coat evenly.  

Space cookies 2-inches apart; bake for 15 -17 minutes (they should look just slightly under-baked as they'll cook slightly once removed from oven). Cool on cookie sheets 5 minutes, transfer to wire racks to cool completely; outside of cookies will become crispier while inside will remain soft and cake-like.

 Makes 4 dozen cookies.
  Mary Cokenour

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