Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Perfect Snickerdoodles.

For the last few years, an ambitious group of people from church have gotten together and baked what feels like a thousand dozens cookies to put together fancy Christmas cookie trays for the elderly people in our church. 

The best way to spread Christmas cheer might be singing loud for all to hear (yes, I just watched Elf)... but a plate of several dozen home-baked-with-love Christmas cookies does just the same. Their faces literally light up. 

Of course, to gather the number of cookies we need, this usually means a week of solid baking. It's like a relay race, but in the kitchen. It's frantic and epic and legendary and we nearly always run out of flour and gain at least three pounds, but in the end... it's worth it. So worth it.
Our dining room table last weekend. Between the three of us we baked about 35 dozen cookies.

35 dozen.

And what you don't see is all the cookies piled on our kitchen counters.

Not to mention the chocolate fudge, frosted sugar cookies, double chocolate sprinkle cookies, Oreo truffles, and Scottish shortbread.

Before I take a much needed nap, there's one recipe I have to share with you. To me, snickerdoodles are just fancy sugar cookies, rolled in cinnamon and sugar. But since making a batch of these in November, they've been requested not once, but three separate times. I've never seen a plate of cookies clear out so fast and honestly, I'm baffled.
The only thing I can figure out is that unlike a lot of snickerdoodle recipes, this recipe calls for both granulated and powdered sugar. They come out plump and crispy and soft- but not too soft- on the inside. In other words... they're kind of perfect. Enjoy!

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup salad oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 large eggs
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar & 1 tablespoon cinnamon for rolling cookies in 

Preheat oven to 375°F. 

Beat together butter, salad oil, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and eggs. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Slowly beat flour mixture into the butter mixture.

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, then roll each in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place balls 3 to 4 inches apart on baking sheet. With a flat-bottomed glass dipped in cinnamon-sugar, flatten each ball to about 1/4-inch.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned. Cool and then serve. 

Source: Sunset, 1998.