Cook­ies with funny name are tasty treat

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE -

The hol­i­day sea­son is such a beloved time of year. The weather turns cool and the snow be­gins to fall; we spend ded­i­cated time with our fam­ily and friends; and chil­dren ex­pe­ri­ence old fam­ily tra­di­tions for the first time.

At homes across the coun­try, care­fully wrapped plates of home­made cook­ies are passed among friends and neigh­bors to cel­e­brate a year of friend­ship and com­mu­nity. A fam­ily’s cookie plate is as unique as they are, and so of­ten you can iden­tify the sender by the treats on the plate.

Spe­cial hol­i­day cookie recipes are an old tra­di­tion. In the Mid­dle Ages, spices, but­ter, and sugar were prized pos­ses­sions, too ex­pen­sive for ev­ery­day use. At the hol­i­days, cooks would use th­ese in­gre­di­ents to make small ex­trav­a­gances to share with friends and fam­ily. Cook­ies spiced with cin­na­mon, nut­meg, and clove were com­mon and have stood the test of time. It is be­lieved that the first gin­ger­bread men came from the time of El­iz­a­beth I, who asked for the cook­ies to be shaped like the men in her court.

Cookie recipes have evolved a great deal since the time of El­iz­a­beth, and ev­ery fam­ily has their list of must-bake cook­ies. One stand­out hol­i­day fa­vorite is the snick­er­doo­dle, a sugar cookie that is rolled in cin­na­mon-sugar be­fore be­ing baked. It is rec­og­niz­able by its slightly cracked ex­te­rior that lets its chewy in­te­rior shine through. Un­like many sugar cook­ies that are un­leav­ened and rolled for cut­ting, our snickerdoodles con­tain both bak­ing soda and cream of tar­tar. Be­cause they are so mild in fla­vor, they of­ten have a char­ac­ter­is­tic tangi­ness that can be at­trib­uted to those in­gre­di­ents. After a heavy meal, Snickerdoodles are the per­fect bite to sat­isfy a sweet tooth.

This recipe calls for a #40 scoop, which is just about 1 ½ ta­ble­spoons of cookie dough per cookie, but you can make your cook­ies as big or small as you would like. For smaller cook­ies, in­crease the tem­per­a­ture slightly and re­duce the bak­ing time. For larger cook­ies, de­crease the tem­per­a­ture and in­crease the bak­ing time slightly. Ei­ther way, your nose will know when th­ese cook­ies are done, and your home will be filled with the scent of the hol­i­days.

Like most cook­ies, snickerdoodles are the per­fect make-ahead recipe. The cook­ies can ei­ther be fully baked, cooled, and frozen, or you can pre­pare the dough, scoop the cook­ies onto a bak­ing sheet, and freeze them to bake later. Re­move your cook­ies from the freezer the day be­fore use. Just be sure to tuck them away some­where safe, since cookie radar is strong at the hol­i­days.

SNICKERDOODLES

Serv­ings: About 2 dozen cook­ies

1 pound (4 sticks) un­salted but­ter

1 cup gran­u­lated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

1⁄4 tea­spoon salt

2 eggs

2 tea­spoons pure vanilla ex­tract

4 1⁄4 cups all-pur­pose flour

1 tea­spoon bak­ing soda

1⁄2 tea­spoon cream of tar­tar

Cin­na­mon Sugar, as needed, for gar­nish (recipe fol­lows)

Pre­heat the oven to 325 de­grees F. Line two bak­ing sheets with parch­ment pa­per.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fit­ted with the pad­dle at­tach­ment, gen­tly blend the but­ter, su­gars, and salt on medium speed un­til com­bined, 2 min­utes.

Grad­u­ally add the eggs and vanilla, scrap­ing down the bowl after each ad­di­tion.

Sift the flour, bak­ing soda, and cream of tar­tar to­gether. Add to the creamed mix­ture and mix on low just un­til com­bined. Scrape down the bowl as needed.

Scoop the dough onto the pre­pared bak­ing sheets us­ing a #40 scoop about 1 ½ inches apart and re­frig­er­ate un­til firm.

Roll the chilled dough in Cin­na­mon Sugar to coat. Flat­ten slightly with your hands.

Bake un­til the cook­ies are golden around the edges, about 8 min­utes. Ro­tate and switch the bak­ing sheets as nec­es­sary for even bak­ing.

Al­low the cook­ies to cool for a minute on the bak­ing sheets then trans­fer, us­ing a spat­ula, to a cooling rack and al­low to cool com­pletely.

Store the cook­ies in an air­tight con­tainer.

CIN­NA­MON SUGAR

1 cup sugar

1 ta­ble­spoon cin­na­mon

Com­bine the in­gre­di­ents and store in an air­tight con­tainer.

Nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing: 306 calo­ries; 140 calo­ries from fat; 16 g fat (10 g sat­u­rated; 1 g trans fats); 58 mg choles­terol; 87 mg sodium; 39 g car­bo­hy­drate; 1 g fiber; 22 g sugar; 3 g pro­tein.

This ar­ti­cle was pro­vided to The As­so­ci­ated Press by The Culi­nary In­sti­tute of Amer­ica in Hyde Park. This recipe also can be found in The Culi­nary In­sti­tute of Amer­ica’s cook­book, “Cook­ies At Home.”

PHIL MANS­FIELD — CULI­NARY IN­STI­TUTE OF AMER­ICA

Snick­er­doo­dle cook­ies.

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