Welcome to The Cookie Monster, a blog about the most marvelous, versatile, and beloved bakeable item in the land: The cookie. You may see occassional forays into pies, bars, and other sweet treats, but my main focus is and has always been on the bite sized genius behind my very favorite snack. Happy Baking!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

An Old Favorite

It used to be, when I decided to bake something, I'd make whatever sounded interesting, challenging, or new at the time. Pecans, candied ginger, and fresh fig. Tequila-spiked cookies, biscotti, and dark cocoa pockets......the sky was the limit. But recently I have been faced with a new, and very important, factor to consider: Children.

I don't know about you, but when I was a kid I didn't want anything to do with any nutty/strange/gourmet/wacko cookie that might appear on an aunt's gaudy serving dish or in a family friend's gift basket. I didn't care who made them. I didn't care if it was rude. That crap was gross. So, in honor of my cookie-ignorant childhood self, I've come up with a handful of "kid friendly" cookie options. Because in my world, nothings worse than when a kid thinks your cookies suck.

At the top of my list is the Snickerdoodle. it's classic, it's soft, it's rolled in sugar and cinnamon, what's not to like? It also happens to be my good friend Kristin's favorite cookie of mine, though she enjoys breaking the name up in a hyphenated manner such as "Snick-Er-Doodle" to emphasize it's yumminess....

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
sugar and cinnamon for rolling

First off, make sure you have enough eggs. woops.

Quick trip to the store....

OK moving on ;)

Even if your cookie recipe says to mix a whole bunch of ingredients together as a first step, ignore it. first mix together the shortening or butter, and the sugar (or sugars if you're using 2 kinds). Always. No excuses. The coarseness of the sugar texturizes whichever fat you're using and makes a nice, smooth base to evenly mix the rest of the ingredients into. otherwise you'll have a chunky mess.

Mix in the remaining wet ingredients, then scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix some more. Now add the flour a little at a time on low speed. Don't overmix it or you'll end up with a cookie texture resembling a pizza dough. blech.

In a small bowl, mix together the remaining granulated sugar and cinnamon (I always go heavy on the cinnamon) You could also add a little nutmeg, clove, or ginger if you wanted to make this cookie a little less kid-friendly.

Using a spoon to make equal cookie portions, roll the dough into little balls, and then roll each ball into your sugar/cinnamon mixture. Place on the (parchment lined) cookie sheet, about an inch or so apart. these will spread out quite a bit....

Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes, until the cookies are just set. brown edges=less delicious. You're going for a crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside experience.

Carefully move your delicacies to a wire rack, they will be SUPER SOFT when warm so be careful not to break them.... or you could break one on purpose and eat it, which is generally how I roll...

These are very simple, very addictive cookies. Pretty sure I ate around four of them hot off the press.....


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