Old friends and old standbys: Snickerdoodles, M&M cookies and Daim cookies


Sometimes friendships, in terms of a lifetime, last only about as long as a batch of cookies. I have written at length about the temporal nature, and fragility, of friendship, including a light requiem memorializing long-dead friendships in which baking was a central ingredient of the glue keeping us together. At the heart of these baking friendships was the inimitable snickerdoodle cookie, which we must have made every weekend between 1989 and 1991. Over the years I continued to make them, but they call for the insidious monster that is Crisco (vegetable shortening). I don’t generally have this lying around, and using it does make a difference in the final product and its texture. My snickerdoodle baking has thus been curbed for many years, but when I get my hands on shortening, it’s one of the first things I do. Ah, sweet and bitter nostalgia.

While I experimented with new stuff this weekend (the dubious oat-fudge bars and the painstaking process that is Samoa cookies), I also stuck with the old standbys: snickerdoodles, M&M cookies and Daim cookies. Friends may come and go, but recipes provide a familiar reassurance… pulling out well-worn recipe cards and books, smudged with bits of cocoa or flour, even if the recipe is burned into your memory (which is, incidentally, much better than accidentally burning the recipe card to the bottom of a pan, which I did once). There’s still something tangible to touch and from which to make the magic of chemistry happen.

More pictures tomorrow…

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