Monday, August 1, 2011

Snickers and Doodles and Sound

I love my job. There are a lot of cool things about it. I get to work with very talented people who do very impressive things and I get to be hidden and invisible while I do it. Seriously. I wear all black. I'm like a ninja, but instead of throwing stars I have a pen and a flashlight.

One of the neat perks of my job is that on an occasional week (one in five, give or take) I get to see what other departments are doing. I work on a big big show and our sound department is particularly epic and well-equipped. We have the largest indoor sound system in the world, so they are also quite busy. The other day I got to watch the show with them and see what they do and learn lots of neat things. As payment for me imposing, I promised them cupcakes. I had plans. I was going to make my new favorite cupcakes, which are dark and chocolatey and gorgeous. When I got home though, I discovered that a sneaky evil redheaded beast had stolen all the chocolate for de-stressing consumption (that would have been me). So I had to come up with a backup plan.

I used to, a long time ago, make these delicious raspberry muffins. I couldn't for the life of me remember where I had gotten the recipe from, and couldn't remember enough of it to recreate it. I was saddened by this loss to my repertoire until, during this last move, I stumbled across the tiny little booklet that the recipe came out of. There was much rejoicing. As I leafed through the booklet I found a couple of pages were stuck together. Curious, I pried them open to discover the also thought-to-be-lost Snickerdoodle recipe that used to be my standard. So when the cupcake plan fell through I seized the opportunity to dust off these precious precious little gems.

Snickerdoodles are sugar cookies that get encrusted with cinnamon and sugar. They look lovely, with light cracks coming through the darker, cinnamon-flecked crust. They have just enough crisp on the outside and are impossibly soft on the inside. They are very good for thanking/bribing people that you work with. Plus that means everyone gets to say Snickerdoodles, and that is just neat.

Adapted from the 2003 Gold Medal Fall Baking

This is a big recipe and yields about 40 cookies.

For the Cookie

1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Butter
2 Eggs
2 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Allspice

For the Topping

1/8 Cup Sugar
1/2 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
Pinch of Salt

Preheat your oven to 400F. Line a cookie sheet with greased parchment paper or Sil-Pat. In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter until it is pale and fluffy. Add in the eggs and the vanilla, then the salt, baking soda, cream of tartar and allspice. Then add in the flour and mix until smooth. This is a pretty stiff dough.
In a small bowl, mix the topping ingredients. Pinch of some dough and roll it into a one inch ball. Then, roll it around in the sugar and cinnamon mixture until it is well coated. Place the balls on the cookie sheet about an inch and a half to two inches apart. Leave them as balls, don't flatten them... this is how you get the neat cracks. Bake for about nine minutes until they are set. Check them after seven though because many peoples ovens are different. Cool on a wire rack.
These are best in the first two days after baking.

Makes around 40 cookies.

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