Is there a simple treat that’s loaded with childhood memories for you?
Snickerdoodles does it for me.
My mother wasn’t a baker, but she did make these cookies and the other day when I wanted to make cookies but was out of chocolate chips, I thought of them. Only my picky middle child turned up her nose. (too cinnamony) Everyone else had three, at least–so I’m glad I took the picture before they got home!
The recipe I used was from Joy of Cooking. No doubt Betty Crocker or a quick online search would turn up similar versions. I just happen to like Joy for the basics and the little commentaries they give about the recipes.
They’re a very simple cookie. The only thing that differs from basic sugar cookies is the cream of tartar that gives the dough a bit of bite.
The key to making them special lies in the cinnamon. I use Penzey’s Vietnamese cinnamon, which has a high (6%) oil content. The milder Chinese cinnamon is more traditional, but the smell from the Vietnamese cinnamon is fabulous.
Penzey’s Spices also offers a double strength vanilla so excellent that, once you’ve tried it, you’ll never, ever go back to grocery store brands again. I love browsing the Penzeys spice shops because they have open samples of everything and the staff is knowledgeable. Their catalog is also worth a glance, if you love to cook with quality-sourced ingredients.
Back to my Mom. Yeah, since she wasn’t a baker, it was kind of an occasion when she decided to do it. So she’d invite one or two friends over. One friend loved raw dough. A lot. My Mom, though, liked the cookies hot out of the oven and so did her other friend. Usually, by the time my brother and I got home, all that remained was the tantalizing smell of cinnamon lingering in the air.
Come to think of it, one reason I really enjoyed making these cookies for my kids yesterday is that I actually got to eat some.