There’s a lot to celebrate today if you are looking for that kind of thing. We sprung forward and practically everyone is cheering, especially since we’ve been greeted by a super gorgeous day. (I’m not. I mourn my lost hour of sleep but I’m odd that way.) We also celebrated Pi Day, a fact that I’m beginning to be more cognizant of in recent years than I was before. Not surprising, since it was born in San Francisco. In the light of changing seasons, I’ve been thinking about several things; from new flowers (aren’t they gorgeous?!) to bar stools (I’ve got to stop shovelling down breakfast standing at the kitchen counter). So preoccupied have I been that it almost passed me by. It would have been awful if I’d missed it. Really it would. For today, you see, is my first blogversary!
To say it took me by surprise is an understatement. I’m in a slight state of shock. Consistency is a great virtue, but not really one of mine. Truth is, with all the balls being juggled in the game I call my life, this was the one that I was fully expecting to drop. I didn’t though. I’ve managed to add it to all the other fragile ones that I was already tossing around and work it into the routine. It has added an element of fun to the pattern. I had thought the best part of it would have been the writing and the cooking, which have been wonderful experiences, with ebbs and flows as all creative processes are. But no, the best part most certainly has been the wonderful people that I’ve met through the process, virtually though that may be. I’ve gotten acquainted with some fantastic new people and gotten to know old friends even better in this past year. The readers of this blog give it dynamism and purpose. So today, one year after I tiptoed quietly onto the information superhighway, sending out a fervent prayer, I get to say that I’m having a blast continuing on this fabulous journey. Thanks for watching out for me, and making sure I didn’t get run over. You guys are the best! And as thanks, I bring you two things today. One of them is this fabulous recipe for snickerdoodles.
Snickerdoodles are cookies rolled in sugar and cinnamon. (Amey and I have fallen in love with the name. We’re going to call our future dog that. He’s going to be a brown retriever that we get to know someday.) On the face of it, this is a recipe for basic cookies. The cinnamon makes all the difference. There were pretty brown and white puffs of dust all around my kitchen created from sieving together sugar and cinnamon near a breezy open window. I got carried away with the swirling colours initially. Let me say that there is such a thing as too much cinnamon. It can tinge sugar with a bitter after-taste, something you want nowhere near a cookie. I tossed it away and made a fresh batch, watching the proportions this time and it was much better. I also tucked some cinnamon into the dough. Aromas of caramel and spice waft freely through your home as these bake in your oven.
It’s like that feeling you get when you’ve discovered something precious and undeniable, a thing that you can assign no monetary value to, but you know would be a freakin’ steal if you could. That is what is what this recipe is like. I say this despite having documented in excruciating detail, my past trysts and feelings on the subject of biscuits/cookies. The gains derived from it far outweighed any of the troubles I had putting it together. Which, by the way, weren’t troublesome at all. They weren’t even minor annoyances. Not with the recipe anyway. The troubles stemmed from my tiny kitchen. No, the recipe itself works like a charm and is fantastic in these days where the weather can’t quite make up its mind as to whether it wants us to freeze or swelter. When it is in one of its frigid moods, I can think of few things better then curling up in a warm seat with a glass of steaming milk and a plate of these cookies.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Can’t tell you exactly how many these made because Amey ate several quickly without keeping count, but they were in the ballpark of 30 to 40.
All-purpose flour – 2 1/2 cups
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Baking powder – a pinch
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Unsalted butter – 8 oz (2 sticks), room temperature
Sugar – 1 1/2 cups for dough + 3 tbsp for rolling
Lemon juice – 3 tsp
Ground cinnamon – 1 tsp for dough + 1 1/2 tbsp for rolling
Eggs – 2
– Preheat the oven to 400°F.
– Mix the dry ingredients by sifting together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon (dough portion) and salt.
– In a separate bowl (or stand mixer bowl if using one), combine the butter and the sugar. Knead (or beat) lightly until incorporated into a fluffy mixture.
– Add eggs and beat to combine if using an electric mixer. Use a spatula to combine lightly before switching back to kneading by hand, if not using a mixer. Add lemon juice.
– Add dry ingredients in and beat further or knead by hand to incorporate. Work quickly to shape into a cohesive dough. At this stage, if dough is too soft, place in the fridge to firm up a bit.
– Combine the sugar and cinnamon reserved for rolling into a shallow bowl. Using a small scoop, dollop out rounds of cookie dough onto the mixture. Roll in the mixture and place on a cookie sheet lined with silicone mat or parchment paper. Leave a couple of inches between the rounds.
– Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes then take out of the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool for a few minutes, before serving.
This is an easy dough with flour, sugar and butter at its essence. If the butter is soft enough, it comes together fairly quick. It called for the use of a stand mixer which I do not have so I kneaded it by hand. Dangerous, since after it consolidated in a cohesive dough I had to fight the urge to lick my fingers clean. This cookie dough may be even more delicious than the cookies. It is very hard to resist, just like the cookies. You’ve been warned.
I did not have any cream of tartar so I looked up substitutions on the internet. Opinions were divided on what works at what time. So I used lemon juice and threw in some baking powder for good measure. I don’t know if this will always do but in this case it turned out quite well though not quite exactly as Deb’s of SK. Her cookies cracked on the surface and didn’t brown too much. Mine didn’t crack and browned to almost charred at the edges. But Deb probably has a way more magnificent oven than mine. I’m just happy my oven still bakes. My cookie also had a bit of a snap to them, but they were delish nonetheless. I experimented with a couple of sizes. The big ones took about ten minutes. The smaller ones were done much faster.
I baked these as a first anniversary treat to share with you guys, but since I can’t send each one of you these in reality, I have something else for you. This second thing is much more tangible, w-ell at least for one of you lucky readers. Thanks to the good folks at CSN, I present to you my very first giveaway! One of you gets to win this lovely cobalt blue stoneware set. I don’t necessarily subscribe to celebrity name cookware but I love the shape and versatility of these, in the fact that they go pretty easy from oven to table, or can be used to prep. Plus I think the colour is gorgeous!
To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment here on this post. It can be about the post, the blog, these dishes, whatever you like. (No Rachel Ray hate please. Let’s keep it civil.) The comment can be anonymous but you need to leave me a valid email address (only visible to me) so I can get in touch with you if you win. One comment will be counted per person. If you’d like to have another chance at it, become a fan on Facebook. If you’re already a fan, you can leave me a comment on the link to this post there and it will count as your second entry. The contest is open to residents of the US and Canada as this is the jurisdiction of operation of cookware.com. Entries to the giveaway will close on Sunday, March 21st at 11.59 pm PST. A winner will be drawn at random by an unfeeling random digital number generator so as to dispel any talk of nepotism. I will announce the winner here the next day.
It’s nice to hand out presents on your birthday. Cheeky Chilli (the blog and the person behind the blog) is ridiculously excited about this. Hope you are too!
* Thanks for all your comments, here and on Facebook. Numbers were assigned to all comments and FB fans and fed into a number generator. The purely logic driven digital number generator has spoken and the winner is No. 8! Congratulations Jaseena! I’ll be contacting you via email shortly.*