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    Entries in poofy! (2)

    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?

     

    Friday
    Mar022012

    I Want My Cheesy Poofs!!

    Obviously that was probably not the picture that popped into your mind when you read the words cheesy poofs.  Well, I have something so much better than those bright orange, artificially flavored, crunchy cheese snacks.  My cheesy poofs are little, two bite hors d’oeuvres.  Their texture is somewhere between a muffin and a biscuit and they’re loaded with smoked sausage, green onion, and tons of cheddar cheese.  Seriously, look up at that picture again.  Haven’t seen many things more drool worthy than that, have you?  And best of all, they’re simple to make!

    Here’s what you’ll need:     

    1 ¼ cup flour
    1 cup light cream
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon coarse pepper
    ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
    1 ½ cups grated cheese
    ½ cup green onion
    1 cup diced smoked sausage

    I used 10 of the little Beeler’s smoked sausages.  If you can’t find that brand, I’m sure you can use one of the others.  Take each little sausage and cut it into quarters lengthwise. 

    Then cut those strips into little pieces. 

    Throw them into a pan over medium heat and cook them just long enough to cook off a little of their liquid and brown them slightly.  Then just set them aside to cool while you work on the other stuff.  Go ahead and grate your cheese, I used a combo of extra sharp and medium cheddar, and chop your green onions.  I think I used 7 or 8. 

    If you grind your own black pepper, turn it just about as coarse as it will go, and crack about ½ teaspoon. 

    Throw all your dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk them together.

    In a separate container, whisk together the cream and egg.

    Add the cheese, onion, and cooled sausage to the flour mixture. 

    Stir until everything is evenly distributed and coated, then pour over the cream. 

    Stir just until the liquid is incorporated.  It’ll be a fairly thick mixture, more like a dough than a batter. 

    Spoon the mixture into a mini muffin tin.  My pan is coated with silicone so things won’t stick, but if you’re pan isn’t, you might want to spray it or butter it. 

    Fill each up to the top, pressing the mixture down to level it out and fill the corner of the cup. 

    Place the pan into the freezer for 30 minutes.  This step helps to chill the fat and relax the gluten, which in turn makes them tender and well… poofy!  After 15 minutes, preheat your oven to 375°.  When the 30 minutes are up, pull the pan out of the freezer and pop it into the oven for 22 – 27 minutes.  During that time, glorious things are going to happen. 

    They should be just starting to brown on top, and will probably have brown cheese extracurriculars (as I like to call them) around the edges.  Don’t worry about those… they are crispy and delicious. 

    Remove them from the pan and allow them to cool for just a few minutes before devouring.  Pile them onto a plate for your guests… or yourself. 

    Ok, I might not recommend eating that many in one sitting, but you might not be able to stop yourself.  I mean, just look at that sausagey, oniony, cheesy goodness. 

    If can pretty much guarantee you’ll be singing this song after your first bite.