Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Snickerdoodles were a hit

Today we had a classic recipe suggested by a spouse who happens to like his mother's recipe for a cookie called Snickerdoodles. Apparently this cookie is pretty well known but we had not had it at cake hour.  The plan was to make some typical German Plätzchen or Christmas cookies which are very good and somewhat intricate to make.  As most of the recipes called for something that you don't usually keep in the house - almond paste, vanilla bean marrow, hazelnuts - the plan to use a German recipe got shelved.  Instead today's contributor decided to go with a more American treat and it was suggested to bring in the Snickerdoodles.  As the name may have been a corruption of a German name, by having Snickerdoodles two birds may have been killed with one stone.  Snickerdoodles are common enough to have a Wikipedia page:

Classic Snickerdoodles!

Golden brown thanks to cinnamon sugar!

Today's bakers!
Macaroons all in a row!

These are made from a basic vanilla cookie dough that can include either shortening or butter.  Since the acquired recipe called for shortening we stuck with that. After the dough is chilled, it is rolled into walnut sized balls. These are subsequently dunked into and coated with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.  For today we also added some colored sugar for holiday cheer. They are then backed and in the process they flatten out causing the cinnamon sugar coating to crack giving them their distinctive look.  During the baking two of the cookies grew together and had the look of cells dividing. As scientists we appreciated that.

Sinckerdoodle undergoing mitosis!
Having had lots of cookies from all over the world it was uncertain as to what kind of a reception this American stalwart would get.  Happily they were very well received. Indeed some felt that they were the best entry into Christmas cookie week thus far.  The suggestion of the spouse was surely validated and his mother's recipe was passed onto those who wanted to give it a try. One of our colleagues did try the recipe and quickly found out that if you roll the dough too large you run into trouble - the cookies take longer and the outside gets a little too crispy. Maybe the second chance will work out better.
The judges give a favorable response - even took some home!
Our second entry today was a batch of macaroons made by our favorite student baker. They were supposed to be cookies but we won't complain. Our macaroon chef is quite accomplished and have had many variants courtesy of her creativity.  Today we had green tea macaroons with a white chocolate filling.  Good to taste and good for you - I mean the green tea...right?

Our latest macaroon treat!
Christmas cheer - green (tea) macaroons with red (sort of) snickerdoodle!
Discussing the merits of each....not really!

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