When I was eight or nine, I went along with my grandma on a visit to an old friend of hers, Ruby. They jabbered and talked and I lurked around the table. Ruby had a plate of cookies out on the table, and they were the most amazing, magical cookies--rolled in cinnamon and sugar, soft and chewy all at once. I was awed.
A few weeks later, Grandma presented me with a special gift. "Ruby sent you the recipe for those cookies," she said, handing me a paper clipped from a Gold Medal Flour bag.
This was my first recipe.
I didn't attempt making it until years later, when I was fourteen, and then I struggled with it for a few years after that. I was dreadfully afraid of under-baking the cookies, so I baked too long to compensate. Basically, I created cinnamon and sugar-dusted hockey pucks. It took me time to realize that I should let the cookies sit on the sheet for five or ten minutes--that they are still cooking at that point--and then they will be firm enough to move to a rack.
Snickerdoodles taught me how to bake. Now, maybe you can share in some cinnamon-sweet joy this holiday season.
Recipe from Gold Medal Flour, from the late 1980s.
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup margarine or butter, softened
½ cup shortening
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Heat oven to 400-degrees.
Mix the 1 ½ cups sugar, butter or margarine, shortening and eggs in a large bowl. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into balls.
Combine 3 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon; roll balls in mixture. Place about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes; when they are done, the tops will have cracks. If they are turning golden at the edges, take them out fast--they are over-baked! Let them sit on the cookie sheet about 5-10 minutes to set before moving to a rack.
OM NOM NOM.