I’m a stress baker and a stress not-eater. This is a pretty great combination for people in my vicinity and because this week has been especially nuts, this means treats for my coworkers.

Awesome happenings this week include: kickoffs for new jobs, covering on a different brand, obscene amounts of client changes, and the lunatic woman on Pfizer’s regulatory team who likes to point out last minute changes on pieces that have already been released to print vendors. The joys of agency life.

Suffice to say a mid-week pick-me-up is in order.

Snickerdoodles are my go-to cookie to bake because I always have the ingredients on hand and they’re a cinch to whip up. They’re also my favorite cookie period. There’s something very homey and vintage and grandmotherly about them. And honestly, who could be stressed out with a snickerdoodle in hand?

Snickerdoodles

Stress-erasing snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles

from The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

 Makes 24 cookies (according to the cookbook, but I got a whopping 45)

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (I increased this to another tablespoon to go into the batter)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 tablespoons vegetable shortening (I used another 8 tablespoons of butter instead)
  • 2 large eggs
  • Optional: grated ginger and nutmeg
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon in shallow dish. Whisk flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt (and additional spices, if using) together in medium bowl.
  2. Beat butter, shortening, and remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar together until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.
  3. Slowly add flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Give dough final stir to ensure that no flour pockets remain.
  4. Working with 2 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll into balls (I personally like smaller cookies, so I used a teaspoon). Working in batches, roll half of dough balls in cinnamon-sugar to coat and set on prepared baking sheet spaced 2 inches apart; repeat with remaining dough balls.
  5. Bake 1 sheet at a time until edges of cookies are set and just beginning to brown but centers are still soft and puffy, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Cookies will look raw between the cracks and seem underdone.
  6. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and let cool to room temperature.

This is hands down my favorite snickerdoodle recipe as it yields wonderfully soft, pillow-light cookies every time. I have an aversion to shortening (why does it have to look so disgusting??) so I always use straight butter with great results every time. Cinnamon has a special place in my heart, so I sneak it into the batter of pretty much every cookie or cake I bake. And a bit of ginger and nutmeg are also great in these, because you can never have enough spices.

I store these in an airtight container. I’ve never had a problem with them drying out,  but a slice of white bread tucked into the container is always good at keeping cookies soft.

Snickerdoodles

Fresh baked happiness

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