I have brought snickerdoodles to work a few times but people never seem to remember that snickerdoodles, despite the name, have absolutely nothing to do with Snickers candy. No chocolate, no caramel, no nuts. Snickerdoodles are all about cinnamon (and reliant on cream of tartar).
As a child, well before I had heard of or eaten a snickerdoodle, I actually had no idea what a snickerdoodle was either. My fifth-grade teacher promised to bring snickerdoodles for the class (or some part of the class) one day, and I remember being sort of surprised when I found out what they really were. (Incidentally the teacher in question often promised cookies that she never actually brought. She used them as rewards for the teams in the class that had the highest spelling test scores, if I recall correctly. She would come to class empty-handed the day after spelling tests at least half the time, citing lack of time or blaming her brother for eating the cookie dough before she could bake it. I definitely understand the former excuse – there is nothing more challenging than the tug-of-war between one’s own best intentions and exhaustion/lack of time. The latter excuse, however, seemed weak. Can a person eat an entire batch of cookie dough in one day?)
Off the subject, this teacher pops into my mind sometimes. She was 25 at that time, often lamenting how “old” she was (quite frantic to find herself single with no marriage prospects). She was by far the youngest teacher in the school and was therefore perceived as “cool”… all kids wanted to be in her class. The year before I ended up in her class, I remember seeing her “cool” car (a brand-new 1984 Mazda RX-7) proudly bearing a Reagan-Bush 84 campaign sticker. This made me feel deeply suspicious of her even then. What kind of 24-year-old single woman loudly supports REAGAN, I wondered? I don’t know why I was thinking that *then*, given that my own age was still in the single digit numbers.
But… what kind of woman, indeed? The conservative, right-wing, ultra-religious, anti-abortion crusader kind of woman, that’s who. Lovely. She did manage to keep her religion out of the public school before leaving the school the year after I had been in her class.
But back to the snickerdoodles, shall we?
As I have written before, snickerdoodles were a staple of my teen years (making them, not so much eating them). My small group of friends would convene at my house on Fridays, and we would more often than not bake snickerdoodles (although we tended to gorge ourselves on Starburst candy and pretzels whether we had cookies in the oven or not). They are fairly simple but the flavor is rather unique.
For Halloween this year, I decided to make some traditional snickerdoodles, but instead of rolling them in traditional cinnamon and sugar, I mixed in some black, orange and yellow coarse sugar (Halloween colors). I would not claim that these were the most popular cookies ever, but some specific people came by and mentioned finding them “awesome”, so I cannot complain. (I also cannot seem to type tonight, so I apologize for errors found herein.)
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C)
t. is for teaspoon; T. is tablespoon; c. is cup
1½ c. sugar
½ c. butter
½ c. shortening
2¾ c. flour
2 t. cream of tartar
1 t. baking soda
¼ t. salt
2 T. sugar
2 T. cinnamon
Mix sugar, butter, shortening, egg. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Mix sugar and cinnamon together. In order to bake, roll dough into small balls and roll balls in the sugar-cinnamon mixture and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes.