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Friday, March 23, 2012

Old-Fashioned Snickerdoodles

Big, moist centers, crispy-cinnamony outside. 
Warms the heart and brings back many happy memories...

These cookies are everything you want your snickerdoodle to be, trust me.  This recipe is based on two sources: The Boozy Baker and From Amish and Mennonite Kitchens.  I tweaked both recipes to develop this one as I wanted a really BIG cookie with lots of flavor, a nice rise and a super soft interior.  Give these a try and you won't be disappointed. 

So, what's in a name...

First, the drink...The Old-Fashioned is a cocktail made by muddling dissolved sugar with bitters, then adding whiskey or bourbon and a twist of citrus rind. It is traditionally served in a short, round, tumbler glass.

Second, the cookie...The snickerdoodle is one of the oldest American cookies known.  Snickerdoodles have a cracked surface and can be crisp or soft depending on your preference. Today, the leavening agent is typically baking powder (a combination of cream of tartar and baking soda).  In the old days, the traditional leavening agents were baking soda and cream of tartar.  I use all three. 

Third, the origin...According to The Joy of Cooking (the culinary bible for most...), it states that snickerdoodles probably are German in origin, and that the name is a variant of the German word Schneckennudeln ("snail noodles"), a German pastry.
Can you see the orange zest?  Can you smell the cinnamon? 
Yeah, trust me, these cookies are THAT good!

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Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
Add the eggs. 
Add the bourbon, bitters and orange zest, and beat to combine.  Gradually add the flour mixture until combined.  Refrigerate the dough for up to 30 minutes if it's too soft. 
You want it just to hold together, like this... 
Combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon as directed.  Using a 1 1/2 tbsp amount, roll the dough into balls.  Roll the balls in the sugar-cinnamon mixture.  
Place on the prepared baking sheets.  Press down a bit to flatten slightly.  Fingers work well. 
Bake the cookies as directed, not too long...Remember: too long and they will overcook. 
So simple.  So beautiful.  So snickerdoodle.  

“Old-Fashioned” Snickerdooodles
Adapted from The Boozy Baker by Lucy Baker and From Amish and Mennonite Kitchens by Phyllis Pellman Good and Rachel Thomas Pellman
Makes BIG 36 cookies

3 cups flour (2 3/4 to 3 cups depending on the size of your eggs)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (regular, not kosher)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
1 1/2 cups plus 3 tbsp sugar, divided
2 large eggs
2 tbsp Bourbon
4 or 5 dashes bitters
1 tbsp freshly grated orange zest (no substitution)
1 tbsp cinnamon

Preheat over to 375 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, soda and salt.  Set aside. 

In a stand mixer, beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy.  About 3 minutes.  Scrape the bowl.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well each time.  Scrape the bowl.  Add the bourbon, bitters and orange zest, and beat to combine.  Gradually add the flour mixture until combined.  If the dough is too soft, refrigerate for up to 30 minutes.  You want it just to hold together. 

Combine the remaining 3 tbsp of sugar and cinnamon in a small, shallow bowl.  Using a #40 scoop (1 1/2 tbsp), roll the dough into balls (about 1 inch) in the palms of your hands.  Roll the balls in the sugar-cinnamon mixture.  Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.  Press down a bit to flatten slightly.  You can use the bottom of a flat glass.  Fingers work too. 

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until just set and still soft in the middle.  Let sit on the sheet for about a minute or until just firm enough to transfer.  Too long and they will overcook.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store between sheets of wax paper in a container with a tight fitting lid. 

Okay, so I tried the cocktail...Again, I'm sticking to pomegranate cosmopolitans.  Maybe when I'm ~really~ old I will learn to appreciate all-grown up cocktails, like the Old-Fashioned.  For now, I'll take my Old-Fashioned as a cookie.  :)


Today's helper
enjoying a sunny winter day
in California...

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  1. Did Bella help make these? Man, they look so good. It doesn't help that I vaguely know where you live now so I'm kind of expecting leftovers :)

    1. No, Bella was not home yet when I made these...But, Bella just made a batch of Limoncello sugar cookies, and this afternoon, she'll make her first batch of Limoncello frosting! She's doing a great job. Just a few minor issues, but all-in-all, mama is happy her baby is home safe and already at work! :)

  2. I've never thought of adding "booze" to my snickerdoodles, but heck, this look amazing and very adult! Do you deliver??? Love you, XOXO

    1. The booze in these is very subtle, actually...And, remember, I have your address my friend. You never know what might show up someday! Hugs to you!

  3. I love snickerdoodles. But these have booze, which makes them even better! (And, like Hayley, I kinda want some leftovers...) AWESOME photos!

    1. Ha! :) You and Hayley should organize a field trip! Monday might be a good day for such a trip...I have sugar cookies in the works and coconut cupcakes on the way!

      And, yes, I was hoping to not get any more *smack* on my photos this time around...You know what I'm sayin'... ;)

  4. These really are delicious cookies. Creative twist on a classic! Snickerdoodles are my FAVORITE cookie and this variation is really yummy.

  5. I've never had a snickerdoodle, but I remember seeing them in a Nigella recipe book a while back. Your description of them is mouth-watering!

  6. OMG! My sister just sent me a link to your site for the Kentucky bourbon bundt cake. I want to be your new best friend

    1. LOL, thanks! Happy hour anytime :-)

  7. So, they are in the oven now, but the batter was insane (yes, I ate raw egg) Have you ever thought of using this batter for cookies and cream icecream? Anyway, I am sure the cookie will be as good as the batter! Thanks!

  8. I am from WI. where the Brandy Old Fashion is the ultimate state cocktail. That being said I make a very similar cookie with these changes...I use brandy, Korbel, I top the cookie with a candied cherry and I use very little cinnimon with the sugar to roll it in. These are a BIG hit at Chirstmas!


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