Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cookies that Make Ya Happy

Did a cookie ever make you happy? 

I confess, the whole tone of many a bad day has been changed by a carefully selected pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream.  When I'm cold, or have a cold, I am much improved by a huge pot of chili or better yet, a bowl or two of a friend's spicy bean soup.  Food is so tied to the moments of our lives-- the celebrations, the challenges, the victories, the special occasions and even the emotions.

Most of us I'm sure, experience these "food associations" especially deeply at Christmas time.  We all have our favorites and have probably been known to comment, "It just wouldn't seem like Christmas without ____________."  The blank-filler for our family,  would be a unanimous chorus of "SNICKERDOODLES!" 

These simple little cookies make me happy.  What, you may wonder, is so special about a SNICKERDOODLE?  First of all, just saying, "SNICKERDOODLE" is fun.  Can you say it without smiling?  I can't.  Who named this cookie?  Who looked at a little round lump of baked dough and said..."You are a SNICKERDOODLE."

According to the Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, the word snickerdoodle is "simply a nineteenth-century nonsense word for a quickly made confection."  These confections are indeed simple and fun, which is the second reason for my well-placed affection. The Wright Kids' Snickerdoodles are not your grandma's snickerdoodles.  Our version is a little jazzier and a bit less cinnamon-ier and ooooooooohhh we love 'em.

The baker for our first official batch of The Wright Kids' Snickerdoodles this year was Cole who, with moderate supervision, did a super job.


(Looks like he just said, "Snickerdoodle".)

The recipe is a very straight-forward as cookie recipes go...



Our copy is a few years old.  I copied it "big" for Cole and Meg when they were beginning readers.  They marked each ingredient off as we added it to the recipe.

Combine the dry ingredients.




Check out my new wisk.  My old one began to come apart after fifteen years!!


Mix all the "other" ingredients.




Next, add the dry ingredients and mix until sticky dough forms.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least one hour.  The next part is so much easier when the dough is chilly.


Now, the pizazz...instead of dusting the cookies with cinnamon, break out the...



...colored sugar!! 
 
Roll the chilled dough into walnut sized balls and then...
 


...drop 'em into their sugar baths.  Roll them around to coat completely.




Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes.  Remove them from the oven right as they are developing little cracks on the top.

Transfer to a cooling rack.  I like to put them on the cooling rack in a "festive" fashion.





It just says, "Christmas".  Sparkly lights, or perhaps ornaments.

 



Looks like my Man has been up to his old tricks again.  He's the linear, right angle type (in case you didn't know).  This arrangement, though organized, doesn't say, "Fa la la la la" to me.  It causes me to flash back to the bar graph section of the SATs.

Finally, seal these gems in an air tight fashion so they won't dry out until you get 'em packed up to send off or serve up.




These lovelies are soft and chewy on the inside and sugary-sweet and colorful on the outside. We packaged them in Chinese take-out boxes last year for our "appreciation gifts".  We had a blast in the production line-- counting cookies, lining boxes, preparing the gift tags.  The happiest thing of all was giving them to the kids' teachers and helpers and "cheerleaders".

Now I ask you...did you ever have a cookie make you that happy?  These shiny snickerdoodles will surely do the trick!

2 comments:

G'ma suz said...

How very fun. Cherish every minute. "Great chefs from little bakers grow". I recall a little girl of about 8 covered in flour after baking biscuits one evening for a very tired Mom - Thanks again!! Love MOM

Rick said...

Mmmmmmm

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