food, farming, friends and family: a meditation on chosen simplicity and (in)voluntary complications – life.


You’ve heard the saying, If you want to make an omlette, you’ve gotta break a few eggs. Well, I’ve got a similar one for tonight’s culinary adventure: snickerdoodles. If you want to make snickerdoodles, you’ve gotta use a whole lot of butter. Don’t get me wrong; there are plenty of butter substitutes and I’ve seen and tasted lots of great lower-fat recipe alternatives. But I’m starting to appreciate the depth and flavor butter lends to all kinds of dishes – sweet and savory alike, from sauteed greens to cakes to bowls of popcorn. A former butter-phobe, I’m surprising myself! And my trials in snickerdoodle-dom have made it official: it pays not to skimp on the butter … or the sugar … or the cream of tartar (whatever the hell that is – ok, so I got curious: cream of tartar). Here’s the recipe I used – it makes about 2 dozen cookies – I recommend sharing with friends and making your bed beforehand: There’s a sugar-induced bliss – the snickerdoodle food coma – that is sure to follow:

1C Butter
1.5C Sugar
2 Large Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2.75C Flour
2 tsp Cream of Tartar
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt

3 Tbsp Sugar
3 tsp Cinnamon

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Cream together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract
  • Combine dry ingredients, and then mix them into the butter blend
  • Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or so
  • Meanwhile… Mix together the ingredients for the sugar topping on a plate or a pie pan, a flat surface where you can roll the dough.
  • Roll the dough into small mounds – about an inch around – and roll those globs around in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Give them plenty of room on the cookie sheet – they’ll spread out!
  • Bake for 10 minutes, and keep an eye on them. They cook fast, and their texture changes quickly too. This is why I keep the mounds of dough pretty small – to make sure their middles cook before their edges get too crispy.
  • Pull the cookies from the baking sheet and let cool for as long as you can keep your hands off of them.
  • Yum.


One response

  1. As a fellow former butter-phobe, I say: add more butter, spread the love, and spread the message of butter's fantasticness.

    April 13, 2010 at 11:45 pm

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