Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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Cookies: Take Comfort in Snickerdoodles

December 13th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles, snickerdoodles, snickerdoodles!!! Next to chocolate chip cookies, these have to be an all-time favorite cookie across the country. (My web master points out there’s one made with the ganga weed.)

They appeal these days because of their comfort level and kid-pleasing flavor — cinnamon and sugar. Bake them with a child — they’re SO easy! So, for new grandmom Jill, the recipe for the beloved cookies is below. (If you don’t feel like rolling them into balls, you can slice-n-bake them, or drop them by teaspoons and mash with a fork like peanut butter cookies.)

Several folks have emailed me about the Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies and said how much they enjoyed them. You need to try my Orange Drop Cookies — my family’s favorite holiday choice. It’s a cakey cookie I bake at the holidays — very Florida-ish and festive looking.Share a Recipe?

The orange-drop cookies bring me to the story about recipe sources – -and sharing recipes.

After years of baking what I believed were my neighbor’s original recipe for these cookies, I learned they were Betty Crocker’s, straight from her 3-ring binder, Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook from the ’50s. It made me laugh after all those years of speculating whether the cookies were from the German side of her family, or the English.

Some cooks refuse to share recipes, perhaps on the hope they’ll make millions with them in a contest, or maybe from Nabisco looking for the latest, greatest thing. Here’s news: Few do. And thanks to the web, there are literally millions of recipes floating around for everyone around the world to share.

As for me, I’m the biggest sharer of recipes around — and love to reel off ideas for tweaking them as well. Happily, I know far many more who like to trade and tweak along with me than those who clam up at the thought of someone else making their beloved dish.

I do consider it very bad form to share a recipe and leave out a key ingredient. If you don’t want to give me the recipe, fine. Just tell me. Don’t purposefully give me a recipe that will fail, however. I won’t think much of you or your food afterward.

But share your recipes! This is the only way to truly preserve them. There’s no guarantee your family heirloom baking will continue without you.

SNICKERDOODLES

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine (never use a tub-spread for baking)
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • For rolling:
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Beat margarine or butter in a mixing bowl with electric mixer for about 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup of the flour and beat; then add 1 cup sugar, l egg, vanilla, baking soda and cream of tartar. Mix well for about 1-1/2 minutes to combine thoroughly. Beat in remaining flour, scraping down sides of bowl once. Put in smaller covered container and chill at least 2 hours or overnight. (If making drop cookies, skip this step; drop and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix, below.)

Pinch off small pieces of dough to shape into 1-inch balls.

For cinnamon-sugar mix: Combine the 3 tablespoons sugar with cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Roll balls in cinnamon-sugar and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. (cookies sperad). Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 11 minutes, or till edges are golden brown. Cool cookies on a rack before storing.

The dough and baked cookies freeze very well.

Note: To make “slice and bakes” roll cookies into a 1-1/2 inch log; cut 1/4 inch thick.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

(Traditional)

Jan Norris’ Orange Drop Cookies

(adapted from Mrs. Smiggen and Betty Crocker)

(Note: This is figured for approximately 6 dozen cookies – you can halve the recipe.)

  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 cups flour — approximately
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 juice oranges (Valencia or Parson Brown, preferred), juice and zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • For icing:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 small jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped fine (save juice)
  • 1 orange, juice only, optional

Cream sugar, shortening and butter with sour cream and eggs in large mixing bowl. Beat well to combine. Sift together dry ingredients. Add to creamed mixture gradually. Mixture should be stiff. Add orange juice and zest with almond extract. Beat to mix. Mixture should be soft, and spongy but hold together well. Add flour to adjust as needed.

Drop by scooped teaspoon onto ungreased pan; flatten slightly  — cookies will rise and mound as they bake. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until just brown around edges. Centers should be pillowy cake-like.

Cool on wire racks before icing. Dough and cookies freeze very well.

For icing: Mix butter, powdered sugar and chopped cherries in a small mixing bowl. Drizzle in cherry juice to make a spreadable icing. (Alternately, use orange juice instead of cherry juice or as a mix but for Christmas festive colors, cherry juice works best.)

Makes 6 dozen cookies.

Tags: Recipes: What's Cooking!

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jimmyb // Dec 13, 2008 at 10:02 am

    I must admit, the Orange Drop cookies are some of my favorites. They absolutely MELT IN YOUR MOUTH!! I’ve eaten hundreds!! No Lie.

  • 2 hazmat1225 // Dec 15, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Christmas is coming and you can bet I’m waiting on my Orange Drop cookies.
    Note to JimmyB: I’ve got you beat on the number of these cookies I’ve consumed. She would freeze them for the coming months and I would eat them before January was over.

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