Friday, May 27, 2011

Creating Food Memories

The rain finally stopped and the sun is filtering through the haze. Kids home from school and starving. The cupboards swing open in unison looking for the right thing to eat. So cookies were in order. What kind? Hum.

Snickerdoodles. They remind me of being a kid. There is something about the cinnamon sugar and cream of tartar that gives them their unique flavor. I love the crisp outer part combined with the chewy center.

2 2/3 cups flour
2 tsps cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, slightly soft
1 ¾ cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 ½ tsps vanilla extract
cinnamon/sugar mixture for rolling (1/4 cup sugar-1 ½ tsps cinnamon)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line sheets with parchment. Normally I don’t do this step when making cookies but due to the rolling in sugar step the sugar tends to melt and harden on your tray.

Like in every cookie recipe you will do. Take the butter and sugar and cream until light. The creaming step is important because this is where you give your cookie or cake structure. Creaming for cookies is done on low speed and that is why all ingredients should be room temperature. Even the eggs if you can remember. You need to cream until everything is blended. Low and slow.

Then you add the eggs and flavoring, in this case vanilla.

Next of course you add the dry ingredients, which have all been added together and mixed lightly with a whisk to lighten slightly.

For uniform cookies I use a metal, hinged, ice cream scooper about 1 1/2 inch across. Roll dough into balls and place in cinnamon sugar mixture and coat. Place on sheet and bake until golden. Don’t let them get too dark.

Note: These cookies store well. For extra freshness I take my cookies and freeze them in old Christmas cookie tins made of metal only. I try to avoid freezing in plastic. It affects the flavor and who knows what chemicals are being transmitted to our food. Better safe than sorry. 

So create some food memories with your kids. There is nothing like coming home from school and having the house smell of fresh baked cookies. They hunt for the dough and find it. The finger starts it's decent before it is stopped by the evil mother who makes them get a spoon. Or, I will give them their own beater to have at it. Yes, I let my kids eat cookie dough. I have been eating it too for all these years, won't say how many, and never got salmonella.
The kids have had friends over and they look at my kids eating cookie dough with a frightened look on their face like they are going to drop dead on the spot.  It is sad to me.
 I know we need to be safe but the risk is very small. The egg has to have salmonella in order for you to get salmonella. 

So although the  grocery store shelves are abound with more cookies than you can imagine, all very expensive I might add. Baking at home is better and cheaper. Take the time out to bake. You will create food memories for your kids and they will do it for theirs.

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