Staff Favorite-Great Cookies

25 Jul

Carole Walter makes it easy with Great cookies: secrets to sensational sweets (641.865 W231gc). Do you want a sure-fire recipe for Snickerdoodles? Biscotti? Lemon Squares? Walter has her best versions of these and other cookies from around the world. She has been teaching baking for twenty years, and her clear instructions will give you the secrets to great results. My son loves the Toffee Nut Squares, but my favorite is Snickerdoodles.—Dianne L.

Snickerdoodles

2 ½ cups flour, spooned in and leveled

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1 ¾ cups sugar, divided

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 to 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

Strain together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and vegetable shortening on medium speed until lightened in color, about 2 minutes.  Add 1 ½ cups of the sugar in a steady stream and mix for another 2 minutes.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the side of the bowl as needed. Stir in the vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients in two additions, mixing just until blended after each addition. Scrape the dough into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 6 to 8 hours, or overnight.

Position the shelves in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter the cookie sheets. Divide the dough in quarters.  With lightly floured hands, shape each quarter into a log.  Slice each log into 12 equal pieces and roll into small walnut-size ball.

Combine the remaining ¼ cup sugar with the cinnamon in a small mixing bowl. Working one piece at a time, place each ball in the mixture and briskly rotate the bowl in a circular motion to coat the dough evenly with the mixture.

Place 3 inches apart on the cookie sheets.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Toward the end of baking, rotate the pans from front to back.  (A shorter baking time will make these cookies chewier, while longer baking results in crispiness.)  Remove the cookies from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.  Transfer with a thin metal spatula to wire racks to cool.

Also by Carole Walter:

Great cakes (641.865 W231g)

Great pies & tarts (641.865 W231gr)

Great coffee cakes, sticky buns, muffins & more (641.815 W231g)

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