Yesterday afternoon I was feeling a bit raw and downtrodden. Several things led up to me feeling that way:
1) Reading Maus in bed the night before. A very bad idea. Maus is an excellent, excellent book, but the material couldn't be grimmer. I dreamt about Nazis all night. I woke up to find that I had tied my nightgown in a big knot in my sleep. Not a good way to start the day.
2) Discovering that the local Starbucks charges $7.50 an hour for wi-fi. $7.50 an hour.
3) Because of 2), making the unfortunate choice to read The National Post's Opinion page while I sipped a very untasty mug of Earl Grey. If I had hoped to find comfort in the fact that the Holocaust is behind us now, reading the vitriol and barely-concealed hatred evident in the Post's letters was not the way to do that.
4) Catching a few minutes of a ghastly TV programme called Flavor of Love. My goodness it was awful. I don't know if I'll ever be able to enjoy Public Enemy again.
My daughter was going to be home from school in 25 minutes or so, and I had the idea to make her something yummy and comforting for an after school snack, and in so doing, also comfort myself a little. I opened up one of a handful of recipe books on my shelf that I've never actually looked at, Jean Pare's Cookies. I inherited this cookbook from my father-in-law after he passed away and the idea of making a recipe that maybe Grandpa had made upped the comfort factor of this activity.
I was spoiled for choice, and made the Snickerdoodles mostly, I admit, because of the name. I just thought Sahsez (who is seven) would love to come home to a house smelling of cinnamon and the news that she was about to eat something called a Snickerdoodle. I was right on both counts.
Also, I figured that once I had made the first batch, she would probably make the rest of them for me, since the process is very kid-friendly. And when I say kid-friendly, I don't mean something that a kid can do, but something that a kid would actually want to do. Rolling dough into one-inch balls and then coating them with cinnamon and sugar definitely falls into that category.
Snickerdoodles are tasty, sweet and cinnamony and doughy, but not the cookie to end all cookies. Make them if you want to keep little hands busy, or if you need something sweet and soothing for yourself, but don't want to put forth a lot of effort (they are easy in the extreme).
The recipe below makes four dozen, so make sure you have a plan in place to give some away. Sahsez' best friend is ill so she took a dozen over to her place. And if you get sick of eating them plain, and can't give anymore away, they do make a mean ice cream sandwich.
And did I feel better after baking four trays of what is essentially blobs of fat, sugar and starch? Yes ma'am, I did. Hooray for comfort food!
New Recipe Number 9: Jean Pare's Snickerdoodles
Blessed are those who own Kitchenaid mixers, for they will easily: cream together 1.5 cups sugar and 1 cup butter or margarine, then add two eggs, one at a time. Then they will add 2.5 cups flour, 2 tsp. cream of tartar, 1 tsp. baking soda and 1/4 tsp. salt. Then they will roll the dough into little one-inch balls and roll the balls around in 2 tbsp. sugar mixed with 2 tsp. cinnamon and cook the little balls of goodness at 400 for about 8 minutes.
For those without wicked-ass mixers, I'm sure you have your own way of dealing with this, and much better biceps than me.