Monday, January 22, 2007

Snickerdoodles for Supper

It was a Monday night at the library. I'd been in class from about 11:30am until 8pm with one two-hour break for lunch which had been spent studying. Frustrated about a project on Spanish history, I found myself leaving behind wikipedia entries about "Carlos the Bewitched" in favour of some food blogs. As I browsed happily, I saw that Jasmine over at Confessions of a Cardamom Addict had declared January 15th as "a day that really schmecks" in honour of Edna Staebler's birthday. I was intrigued and delighted when I found an invitation amongst my emails.

Edna Staebler is a Canadian culinary icon. Her cookbooks are eternally popular; I remember seeing them on the shelves at the library where I worked during high school. Though I have not had the pleasure of reading any of them yet, I am sure that I will do so as soon as I manage to get my greedy little paws on one.

Burnt out from a long day at school, I figured it was about time to bake something. Since I had no way of getting my hands on a copy of any of Edna's cookbooks at that moment, unfortunately, I instead began browsing websites featuring Amish and Mennonite cooking. Then, to my delight, I found a website which had a recipe for "Amish Snickerdoodles".

Allow me to digress for a moment. Two of current roommates lived on my floor in residence last year. After Thanksgiving (if memory serves), my mother sent me back to school with more cookies than any single person could possibly eat, so I very kindly shared the cookie love with my floormates. Most of them had never tried snickerdoodles before, and in fact, Mom never made them very often. However, they garnered enthusiastic raves from a lot of my floormates, in particular Shan, one of my current roommates. I figured they would be a pretty safe choice and rushed home to get to work.

As I'd been in class all day, I'd barely eaten, and at 11pm on a Monday night I found myself with a pile of cookies and a glass of milk serving as supper. Though I'm not sure Edna would have endorsed this practice, I think she would have liked the cookies.

"Amish Snickerdoodles" - recipe modified from "Aaron's A to Z Garden of Recipes" website
My imprecise recipe notation may not be your cup of tea. I'm not a scientific person and I tend to tweak things to my liking, using the fictional "baker's instinct" I seem to think I inherited from my mom. This explains my cracktastic yield of 43 cookies, among other things... I hope you enjoy it anyway.

1/2 c. margarine or butter
1/2 c. solid shortening
2 eggs
1 c. white sugar
1/2 c. cinnamon sugar
2 c. white flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
cinnamon sugar, made to taste (because really, it's a matter of taste; I add a pinch of ginger and nutmeg to my cinnamon sugar)

Mix the first 5 ingredients thoroughly in large bowl. Sift the flour and baking soda; add to first mixture. Form dough into balls and roll in cinnamon sugar. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies (a good indicator is when the bottoms are just starting to brown). As Aaron, the author of the original recipe, notes, you may top the cookies with red-hots if you desire (I don't like them, personally). These cookies store well and freeze beautifully. Yield: 43 medium-sized cookies.

Recipe notes: The recipe called for margarine, but I used butter to no ill effect (I'm told it makes a difference sometimes...). You can use all white flour; I like a bit of whole wheat in my baked goods. I don't recommend mixing more than half-and-half, or it gets very dense (though if you like very dense, by all means dense it up!). To make things more interesting, I added some cinnamon sugar to the batter as well as on top; it really added another dimension of flavour and texture to the cookies.

1 comment:

Jasmine said...

These look so good. I kinda wish I had them for my supper :)

Thanks for taking part!
j