Buttery Snickerdoodles – Surprise!

I always thought snickerdoodles were dull, rather hard cookies, not tasty at all, and could easily be bypassed for something more desirable, like a thumbprint lemon filled cookie or a brownie bar. I often imagined people bought snickerdoodles because of their cute name, or maybe they liked a bit of crunch and their sugary pop. Or perhaps they needed something quick to share with friends or family for a get together. But for me the taste was like a yawn! However, my snickerdoodles hit a homerun out of the park and were certainly not dull and hard! Once I bit into my freshly baked morsels with a hint of crunch, I feel like I’ve revolutionized the field of Snickerdoodles!!

Backing this statement up too comes from friends and colleagues. One friend says her daughter, away at college, prefers her mom to bake and send her these cookies, prefered over the familiar and widely popular chocolate chip cookie! This surprised me at first, but I’ve learned much over my many years of baking about technique, quality of ingredients, and baking skill; I’ve practiced a lot! Now around holidays or birthdays for friends and family, this is my go-to-gift, a batch of these luscious tender, bendable cookies, and tucked within them is my surprise! They may still be mostly flat, but this cookie recipe, with my revisions and additions, produces a cookie which packs a big punch and really tastes better than most chocolate chip cookies!

INGREDIENTS Yield: 20-24

2 1/4 cup flour

1 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1/2 cup for rolling – save this for later

3 oz cream cheese, softened and cut in 3 or 4 hunks

8 tablespoons butter – salted – cut in two pieces

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 egg, large

1 1/4 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon

15-20 pieces of assorted chocolate candies, such as Snickers, Twix, Milky Way, or Reese’s Cup, cut in 1/4 inch chunks (optional)

PROCESS

1 Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or use Silpat Silicone sheets.

2 Whisk flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. Set aside. In another large heatproof bowl, mix the cream cheese and the 1 1/2 cups sugar.

3 This is the process for making Brown Butter – Melt t he butter in a smallish skillet, not a a black cast iron one, over medium heat. Cook it and stir often for about 3-5 minutes until it turns the color of pecans or milk chocolate. Be patient, this works.

4 As soon as the color comes on, remove the skillet from the neat and scrape the browned butter into the bowl with the sugar and cream cheese. For about a minute or two, stir and mash the combination with a rubber spatula until well-combined, then whisk in the vegetable oil, the egg, and finally the vanilla.

5 Stir in the flour mixture with a soft spatula until soft, and a loose but compact dough forms. Set aside for a few minutes.

6 In a separate small shallow bowl mix the half cup of sugar with the cinnamon. Divide the dough into 23-26 equal balls using a number 30 scoop (flush) or a scant 2 Tablespoons. Gently roll the balls in the sugar, cinnamon mixture to coat well. Space cookies one and one half inches apart. Use two cookie sheets.

7 With a bottom of a glass, slightly flatten each cookie. until they’re about 1/2 inch thick. Your disk will be nearly 2 inches wide. With about half of the cookies, (optional) add a small piece of the chocolate candy, pressing it in slightly to the center of one of the unbaked cookies.

8 Bake one cookie sheet at a time for 10-13 minutes. Do not overbake, they may seem a little undercooked, but that’s okay. And too they may puff up slightly once baked, but that’s okay too. Even little cracks in the cookie are okay. Let them cool 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack. they will be slightly soft and pliable.

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