In honor of the day, I've been planning to finally put together the tomato sandwiches that I've been talking about for nearly four months. Let's take a look at how that's going:
NOTE: I know that the end of this video is pretty bad, cinematically, but I thought it was a nice shot of the tree above me still all green and summer-y looking.
So... yeah... Not quite time for the tomatoes, but totally time to start looking at fall flavors. (Typing that just now I started thinking about beef stew and warm bread, but since it's about 90 degrees out, I think I'll wait on those until the weather figures itself out.)
For today's foray into the warm spices, we're going to hop back to 1950, once again, for one of my favorite cinnamon-y cookies: Snickerdoodles!
I kind of love that the recipe starts out with "Fun to say . . . to sniff . . . to eat!" because, well, they are all of those things.
We've made a lot of cookies, lately, so you probably already know the basics of how this all goes together...
|NOTE: No brown sugar in these, so we'll be getting cakier, less-bendy cookies.|
I think I've mentioned in the past that I always cream the shortening (in this case margarine) and sugar before adding the eggs. Recipes like this one don't actually call for that, but it's a habit I've had for a really long time, and I think most recipes come together better because of it.
|I believe it has something to do with the sugar molecules bonding to the fat before the protein is added in. (As usual, if you want me to do some research on that, just let me know.)|
I've heard people say that they prefer cooking over baking because baking is too technical and requires you to pay too much attention to details. The chemistry in all of the leavening can be particular, and one small misstep can make a flaky dough turn into concrete. And - believe me - I've had pie crusts do just that.
But, on the other hand, there are some things that can be a little loose when it comes to baking. Take the salt, for instance. Salt in baked goods typically adds that certain something that really accentuates the flavors. (Don't believe me? Try baking something and leaving out the salt - it tastes weird.) But, because the salt is there (mainly) for flavor, I don't typically worry to much about the exact amount, and (unless I've already got a used measuring spoon around) I go by feel.
|My closest guess is that this is about half a teaspoon - not including the little bit that goes over your shoulder to ward off bad luck.|
|Yes. Doing it all by hand... again.|
Since we don't want these cookies to get tough, and we also don't want them to just "melt" on the cookie sheets, the dough heads for the fridge to chill. Typically, this is a "1 to 2 hours, or overnight" situation. You're trying to get the dough to relax, while also bringing it down to a lower temp and making it easier to scoop, later.
|If you're ever putting something aside to chill, I recommend covering it (unless the recipe specifically says not to). This will do two things: it will keep the dough from picking up other flavors, and it will keep the dough from drying out.|
|If you're thinking this looks like more than the 2T sugar and 2t cinnamon specified in the recipe, you're right. It's probably at least three times that - but it still may not cover all of your cookies.|
I'm all for putting these together assembly-line-style. I'm right-handed, so I keep the scoop in my right hand, toss the dough in the cinnamon/sugar with my left, and then transfer it to the pan (also with my left). This keeps one hand clean at all times - which makes it possible to grab the pan and put it into the oven without covering everything in either dough or spice.
When you get to the end, you may need to make more cinnamon/sugar mix. Otherwise, it's possible that your final few cookies will look like the toner cartridge ran out of brown...
|The dough is a little sticky, so if it doesn't get rolled in the cinnamon mix, it can look a little spiky.|
|Unlike the other cookies we've been making, it's a little hard to see whether or not the edges and bottoms are browning on these. You're going to want to rely on your timer until you get a good feel for how the Snickerdoodles behave in your oven.|
So, how do they taste?
Happy New Season(ing)!
Is there something that you make that always reminds you of fall? Are you a cinnamon or clove or ginger fanatic? Or do you lean more toward hearty stews and chili in the Crock-Pot? Let me know if there's something you'd like to see me work on, and maybe it will show up in a future blog post!