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    Entries in cinnanananom (20)

    Tuesday
    May212013

    Snickerdoodles!

    No, that's not me finding creative ways to swear without swearing. (why the fuck would I do that?)

    It's cookies!

    In addition to these being one of Recipe Guy's favourite cookies (which means I will be making them again in a few months), I had a request for these at work. Yup, I'm back to work full time, which means the cookie request board is back in business.

    Snickerdoodles are a variation on a sugar cookie. They have a slightly softer dough than typical sugar cookies, and because of that they aren't rolled flat and cut. They're rolled into balls and allowed to flatten all on their own. They're also covered in cinnamon sugar. Anything covered in cinnamon sugar is awesome. Even toast.

    The one distinct difference between snickerdoodles and other sugar cookies is the leavener. Snickerdoodles use cream of tartar in place of the baking powder.

    Cream of tartar is actually a component of baking powder, but the use of it straight to react with the baking soda results in a cookie that puffs up beautifully in the oven, breaking the sugared top and creating that lovely crackled look.

    They fall a bit as the air trapped inside them cools and decreases in volume, minimizing the cracked look, but they'll stay nice and soft inside. Soft chewy middle, crispy crackled outside, and covered in cinnamon sugar like some kind of perfect cookie version of a breakfast doughnut...

    Snickerdoodles

    • 1 c butter
    • 1 1/2 c sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • 2-1/2 to 3 c flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 2 tsp cream of tartar
    • cinnamon sugar

    Make sure the butter and eggs are at room temperature. If they're not, use one of Taneasha's awesome tips to fix that.

    Cream the butter and sugar until they're fluffy and golden.

    Beat in the eggs and vanilla until you have something resembling a soft buttercream icing.

    Dump in 2-1/2 cups of flour, and then top with the baking soda and cream of tartar. Give the dry stuff a gentle stir before mixing it into the wet stuff. Once you've got the flour mixed in, decide if you need any of that remaining cup.

    The dough should be soft and a little bit sticky.

    You should be able to form it into a ball with only minimal amounts sticking to your fingers.

    Wrap the almost sticky dough in plastic and let it chill in the fridge for at least 10 minutes. You can leave it in there for a day if you're planning ahead, but if you do, give it at least 30 minutes on the counter. If it's too cold, you'll need to put a lot of work into rolling the dough into balls, and since cookies are technically a pastry, you want to touch them as little as possible.

    Cold balls plus too much handling equals tough cookies.

    Preheat the oven now! 350.

    Bust off a piece of dough about the size of a cherry.

    Gently roll it into a ball, and then drop that ball into a small dish of cinnamon sugar.

    Jiggle the dish and roll the ball around until it's completely covered.

    Once you've done that a dozen times, and have a dozen sugary balls on a parchment covered sheet, bake them for 8 to 10 minutes.

    (It took a lot of restraint to not eat these things! Holy crap I need to make some kind of no bake doughnut hole cookie!)

    Mine needed only 8.

    These things are freaking amazing. I've already packed them up to take to work because if I didn't I'd probably eat a dozen between now and then. Mostly now.

    What's your favourite cookie?

     

    Monday
    Mar182013

    Pudding Cake

    Dessert. Old school.

    A lot of the "pudding" that I ate as a kid was not the typical custardy stuff that most people think of. Pudding is a bit of an all purpose word for dessert in some parts of the world, and most of the ones I ate were usually baked, and looked kinda like big sweet dumplings served with a caramel-like sauce.

    And then there was the chocolate version. 

    Granted, my mom was a fan of all things boxed and so hers was a little more instant than this one. Hers also advertised that no bowl was needed. The packets were emptied and mixed right in the baking dish.

    No dishes! I'm in.

    Chocolate Pudding Cake

    Cake

    • 1 c flour
    • 5 tbsp cocoa
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 3/4 c brown sugar
    • 1/2 c milk
    • 1/2  butter, melted
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tsp vanilla

    Pudding

    • 3/4 c brown sugar
    • 5 tbsp cocoa
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1-1/2 c boiling water
    • 1 tsp vanilla

    Preheat the oven. Do it now. 350 degrees. (yes, I forgot this time)

    Since we're doing this with no bowls, get out a baking pan. My mom used to make the boxed stuff in a corningware casserole dish, so that's what I'm doing. A glass pan would also work nicely.

    Sift in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and cinnamon.

    Sifting removes lumps not only from cocoa,

    but also from baking powder.

    Now, the sugar.

    Mix, mix, mix.

    Okay, so far, I've used the baking pan, and one dry measure, and a measuring spoon. Things used to measure dry stuff can be rinsed and put away and therefore don't count as dishes.

    Measure out half a cup of milk, and then drop in blobs of butter until the liquid level rises to 1 cup. This means you've added half a cup of butter.

    Microwave this for about 30 seconds until the butter is just about melted. It should finish melting as you stir it. You want it warm, but not hot, since you're going to add the egg to this. And the vanilla.

    I actually measured this time.

    Beat the liquid until the egg is nicely mixed in, then pour it into the dry stuff.

    Stir, stir, stir.

    You'll have a lovely dark, glossy, brownie-like batter.

    Okay, so since we mixed the liquid in the measuring cup, you're going to have to either get a bowl or wash the cup. I washed the cup, because all that's going into it now is dry stuff, which means I can just rinse it and put it away, and therefore it is washed only once and counts only as one dish.

    You have no idea how often I rationalize shit like this.

    Now, for the pudding part. More brown sugar, more cocoa, and more cinnamon. Mixed all together in the measuring cup

    and then sprinkled over top of the batter.

    DO NOT MIX.

    A cup and a half of boiling water, with a teaspoon of vanilla in it (wait, does this mean I have to wash it again?? dammit) gets poured over the back of the mixing spoon.

    This does two things: one, it removes momentum from the flow of the water so that it sprinkles gently over the batter and topping, and two, it rinses the spoon off.

    DO NOT MIX.

    I know it looks weird, and I know you want to mix it, and I know you don't believe me that this is going to work.

    Ha, totally did.

    30 minutes later it comes out of the oven looking like a pan of rich, dark brownies, with hot fudge sauce bubbling all around them.

    Freaky.

    Tasty.

    Chocolatey.

    Do you think I should try the caramel version?