Monday, July 2, 2012

Grandma Roberts' Snickerdoodles

   Growing up I remember Snickerdoodles as being one of my favorite cookies (behind chocolate chip of course). But they couldn't be just any sugar cookie rolled in cinnamon sugar, no they had to be my Grandma Roberts' Snickerdoodles. They are soft and chewy and oh so yummy.
I've been craving these delightful cookies for weeks now, but have not made them because they require shortening. You know. That white stuff that is solid at room temperature - and even well above room temperature on a hot day. As a rule I usually cook and bake with almost exclusively butter, because it is indescribably delicious. So, I don't keep shortening in my house. I just don't use it.  I've been meaning to get some at the store, but I always seem to forget in my mad dash through the grocery store. Some of you other mothers out there might relate. The race I run as I try to get my all groceries and checked out before any or all of the kids start asking/whining/begging for things and or screaming their heads off and the strangers in the store start staring. 
    Please tell me I'm not the only one.
    Well, I always seem to forget to get the shortening and so I haven't been able to make my Grandma's cookies.

  If you've been reading my blog you know that I'm speding a good bit of our summer vacation here in Montana, at my in-laws. I've been doing most of the cooking, and all of the baking too (since I seem to have been blessed with a mouth full of sweet teeth and the culinary chops to satisfy my cravings). So, while making something else completely delicious I found a large tub of shortening. Yeah! My heart sang and my mouth starting watering for the cinnamon sugar covered cookies I would soon be making. It wasn't long before the dough was made and the cookies were baking.
    I have to admit to you though, that I did change my Grandmother's recipe slightly. Since I'm in love with my butter, I did use 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening but other than that they are identical. I remember eating these cookies as a youngin' and love being able to share this recipe and memories with my children. I hope you like them too.
Here's how you do it:

Cream together 1 stick (1/2 cup) of room temp butter -salted- and 1/2 cup of shortening, (Grandma's recipe says use all shortening.)

and 1 1/2 cups of sugar.

Beat them together until fluffy.

Like this:

Add 1 egg

Beat until smooth and add another egg. Beat again.

Add some vanilla

some salt (not too much)

baking powder

and 2 3/4 cups of flour (sifted)

Beat everything together until the dough comes together.

Like this:

In a small bowl combine sugar, cinnamon (and if you're feeling adventureous - cloves (optional of course))

Combine them well. (I took this shot under the yellow stove light. Sorry it's not the best lighting, but you get the idea.)

Take small spoonfuls of dough

and roll them into a ball.

Drop the balls into the cinnamon sugar (I wouldn't put more than 4 in at a time, so that they evenly get coated).

When the dough balls are thoroughly coated in the sugar mixture, place them onto an ungreased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.

Like this:

Bake @ 400F (I know! Crazy high temperature for cookies, but it works, trust me.) The time will depend on your oven and how big your cookies are. My Grandma's recipe says 10 minutes, but mine were extra crispy @ that point. 7 minutes were perfect in my in-laws oven. You want them set, but still soft. The bottoms will be slightly brown.

Cool on a cooling rack and enjoy.

Like any cookie, you can place the dough balls onto a plate or cookie sheet and freeze them. Once they are frozen rock solid, just put the frozen balls into a labeled zip-top bag and you can cook them whenever you want. Genius!  I always have a cookie stash in my freezer of at least 4 different kinds. :)

Aren't these cookies beautiful? I can close my eyes and be in my Grandma's kitchen right now.

Here's the recipe:

Grandma Roberts' Snickerdoodles

1 cup shortening (or 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup butter which is how I like it)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp clove (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F.  Cream together the shortening (and butter) and sugar until smooth and fluffy (about 4 minutes). Mix in vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Beat together the flour mixture into the butter mixture until well combined. In a small bowl, combine sugar and spices. Form small balls of dough (about 1 inch) and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake @ 400F for 7-10 minutes until set but still soft. Cool on cooling racks. Makes about 6 dozen.

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