Saturday, December 03, 2005

Joie de Vivre is a good cookie

I just finished reading Joie de Vivre by Robert Arbor. My vow for the New Year, my resolution, my new mantra...whatever you want to call to live in this more simple manner. To shop at local farmer's markets and co-ops and plan real meals. To savor the freshness and aromas. In the chapter Rethinking the American Dinnertime, he writes, "If you are so busy that you never eat with your family, then it is surely time to reconsider your schedule. I will accept that some families are packed with Type A personalities that have many demanding commitments. But I cannot accept that it would be impossible for even the busiest people to have an unbreakable commitment to a home-cooked family dinner once a week."
And of entertaining friends, "I think that the best kind of dinner party is when everyone--hosts and guests--has a child-like anticipation of the evening to come. A dinner with friends should be a delight, not a drag, and everyone should be ready to graciously pamper one another and be pampered in return."

On a different note, but still a pampering one, a friend of mine adores my Snickerdoodles. It was her birthday Friday, so I'm going to make some of these tonight and bring her a bag to work tomorrow. I can already hear her squealing with delight! This recipe is from Betty Crocker's Cookie Book. My copy is ripped, dog-eared, spilled upon, and altogether well loved. I like to write in my cookbooks with the date I first made a recipe, and my reaction. I cross out the ones that are so-so, and I star the ones I love. This book has loads of stars in it, including peppermint candy cane cookies, stained glass sugar cookies, Russian tea cakes, and of course...this one. If you don't know what a Snickerdoodle is, it's a cinnamon sugar cookie. I always under bake my cookies, because I like soft and chewy cookies versus crisp ones. I use the types of pans that have air sandwiched in between, and I always use the finest ingredients available--real butter, for example. No low calorie substitutes. I try to buy organic, and I'll use things like King Arthur's unbleachd flour. I'm known at my workplace as something of a Martha, and several of the guys there often request treats on their birthdays, which I happily oblige. There's nothing quite like a grown man falling to his knees to give me a fanning motion (like I'm the queen), or a glorified "Wheeeeeeee!!!!" and a swoon. I love that.


1+1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
2+3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
(make sure it isn't expired. Cream of tartar, baking soda, and baking powder all have expiration dates).
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix 1+1/2 cups suar, the butter, shortening and eggs. In separate bowl, combine (I use a whisk) the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the first mixture. Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into balls. Mix 2 Tbsp sugar and the cinnamon; roll balls in mixture to coat (I usually end up using more--so maybe mix 3 Tbsp sugar and 3 tsp cinnamon). Make them small--they spread out. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until set (about 8 minutes). They won't look done, but as they cool they will be. If you cook them too long, they flatten out too much and get crunchy. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Yields 4-6 dozen, depending on the size you make.


Blogger The Calico Cat said...

just got a chance to catch up--- Thanks for the snickerdoodle recipe. Can you just send me some cookies?

4:52 AM  

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