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applesauce cake

adapted from Gale Gand's Applesauce Cake 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature 2 cups brown sugar (dark or light), ...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

snickerdoodles


Makes 12-16 cookies

  • 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder*, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1-1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • optional: 2 tablespoons whole milk, if needed
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2-1/2 - 3 tablespoons cinnamon

preheat oven to 350 ˚F, and butter a half-sheet baking pan** or cookie sheet. cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until fluffy. add the egg and vanilla, and whisk until completely smooth and incorporated. mix the flour, salt, nutmeg and (sifted!*) baking powder in a small bowl, and add the flour mixture to the butter/egg mixture. mix together just until it comes together. if it seems too dry and crumbly, add a 2 tablespoons of whole milk.
mix 1/3 cup sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl***. scoop out the dough (I use a small ice cream scoop to get consistent cookies), roll them into balls between your palms. you're aiming for spheres that are approximately 1-1/2 inches in diameter. as you finish rolling each cookie, lightly drop it into the cinnamon sugar. pick up the bowl and swirl it around to coat the cookie dough completely, then place on the prepared baking sheet. give them about 3/4" clearance so they have some room to spread a little (they won't spread very much). they may all fit on your sheet pan or cookie sheet, but if that would crowd them, then bake them in two batches. pop the pan into the preheated oven and bake for 14 - 16 minutes; until golden brown. cool them on a baking rack.

*baker's note: regarding baking powder and sifting: I generally don't sift flour these days for anything other than very fine and/or delicate pastries. almost every kind flour I find at the grocery these days works well without sifting (though I have a very strong preference for King Arthur flour) (<-- BTW, that link is purely for reference, the price is ridonkulous). everything I bake with it comes out well. baking powder and baking soda are another story. I've found that I absolutely need to sift baking powder and/or baking soda before measuring and using, because they're hygroscopic (they attract moisture from the air), which results in hard little clumps that don't break up properly when you mix your dough or batter (or whatever else you're baking). so for best results, sift your baking powder and/or baking soda in a sifter, push it through a small sieve or just thoroughly pulverize it with the back of a spoon before using. re-measure after you sift.

**baker's note II: in case you're looking, I found a nice steel half sheet pan here; I don't like aluminum pans.

***baker's note III: you'll probably have a little leftover cinnamon sugar when you're done. I trust you know what to do with it (hint: buttered toast! mmmm). if that doesn't sit well with you, use a little less of the sugar and the cinnamon, but: you may run out. sometimes the little fellows pick up more cinnamon sugar than others!

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