Saturday 24 December 2011

Snickerdoodles For Santa

I owe Santa a lot.  Despite the fact we barely know each other, he’s come to my house year after year; an almost-stranger who strives unselfishly to give me my heart’s desire.  How many people can you say that about?

I’m grateful for what Santa’s taught me about generosity and I admire his work ethic.  I mean, he’s not getting any younger is he?  And yet every year he works unbelievably long hours in all sorts of weather.  He travels his whole route with no one to keep him company but his reindeer, climbing in and out of his sleigh, and up and down rooftops and chimneys.  You’ve just got to appreciate all that he puts into his work.

Every year we have a big discussion about how to thank Santa for all that he does for us.  We want to leave him something to eat, of course, but it’s hard to decide just what.  Do we go with tradition and offer milk and cookies?  Keeping his well-being in mind, do we make Santa a cup of green tea and a heart-healthy snack?  Surely on such a long shift he’s entitled to a dinner break.  Do we leave him a whole meal?  A thermos of soup and some sandwiches?  We would offer a grown up beverage but we know he has to drive…

In the end, tradition usually wins and we decide on milk and cookies.  Not that the discussion ends there.  After all, we have to make sure that the cookies are worthy of their recipient.  No cookie-come-latelys find their way onto our Santa plate!  One family favourite or another is always the rule.

This year, we're leaving Snickerdoodles for Santa.  My Snickerdoodle recipe comes to me from my grandma.  They are a special favourite of my sister's, but everyone in the family loves them.  I’m sure that fond memories contribute as much to our enjoyment of these cookies as their flavour does.That having been said, Snickerdoodles truly are a wonderful treat:  An old-timey, light textured sugar cookie inside a coating of cinnamon and sugar.

If you'd like to make Snickerdoodles, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar, plus 1/4 cup for rolling the cookies in
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2-3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon

Cream the butter and 1-1/4 cups sugar together.  Beat in the eggs until blended.

Whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.   Mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture, to make a firm, slightly crumbly dough.

Mix the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with the cinnamon until the two are well combined.

Form the dough into 1-1/2 inch balls.  Roll the balls of dough in the sugar-cinnamon mixture.

Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.  (I line mine with parchment for easier cleanup.)

Bake the cookies at 400˚F for 10 to 12 minutes.  Cool the cookies on brown paper before storing them in an airtight container (or serving them to Santa).

And don’t forget to enjoy a cookie or two yourself. Santa would want you to.  :^)