I didn’t think it would be this long before I blogged again.
I guess I got caught up in first semester chaos – exploring the city, adjusting to classes, working on papers, rehearsing presentations, fighting the dreaded Freshman Fifteen.
Despite my intentions to continue TMB while away at school, blogging definitely took a backseat to everything else going on in my life.
But just because I wasn’t blogging doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about it. Or baking. Or food in general. In fact, almost every time I walked into a bakery, café, restaurant, or specialty grocer, I thought “this would make a great post.”
I could have written each of those times, but I felt like I was missing a few key ingredients: my camera and, more importantly, the motivation.
I was excited to come home for winter break for a variety of reasons. Getting back into the kitchen was definitely one of them. (Of course, I would choose a school with kitchen-less freshmen dorms. Typical.)
Above is just a snapshot of the past four months. My “cooking” is limited to mixing up a bowl of Cheerios, sliced banana, and milk. That’s not to say, however, that I haven’t eaten well since getting to Boston. I’ve had really good ice cream sandwiches from a food truck called Frozen Hoagies (pictured is a pumpkin cookie and maple ice cream sandwich). I’ve also had amazing Italian pastries from Mike’s Pastry, a Boston institution. (In case you were wondering, tiramisu makes a great breakfast after staying up late working on a paper and then going out early the next moring to pick up Ameretto cannoli for a friend’s birthday.) I was able to come home for Thanksgiving, which was a lovely break late into the semester. I baked Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Pecan Pie and it was a huge success. It even got the Grandmother Stamp of Approval.
I’m not sure why snickerdoodles were the first thing I baked when I got home – I ate more than my fair share of cookies while at school. I suppose I just wanted to go with a recipe that is simple and straight-forward – two words that describe these cookies perfectly.
If you’re unfamiliar with the snickerdoodle cookie, let me fill you in. These guys do not contain a trace of peanuts or caramel (sorry, Snickers-lovers). These cookies are all about the chewy center, the slightly crunchy exterior, and the cinnamon sugar coating. I tweaked the recipe a tiny bit by substituting brown sugar for some of the white sugar; this gives the cookies a nice, molasses-y undertone.
Enjoy with a cup of coffee, tea, or, my favorite way to eat any cookie, fresh from the oven!
Happy holidays, everyone!
Brown Sugar Snickerdoodles
adapted from Martha Stewart, via Smitten Kitchen
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 stick or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 400°, with one rack in top third and one rack in bottom third of oven. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter, brown sugar, and 3/4 cup granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, and beat to combine. Add dry ingredients, and beat to combine.
In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and the ground cinnamon. Use a small ice-cream scoop* to form balls of the dough, and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place about two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are set in center and begin to crack (they will not brown), about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets after five minutes. Transfer the sheets to a wire rack to cool about five minutes before transferring the cookies to the rack.
* Martha recommends a size 30 (1 1/4 ounce) ice cream scoop.