One of the great joys of having children is reading childrens’ books. When we found out I was pregnant with Graham, we each bought our favorite from our childhood to start our baby’s collection. Randy bought Where the Wild Things Are and I bought Madeline. Having two boys, we have read the former much more often than the latter.
In addition to all the ones I know and love from my childhood, we have been introduced to so many new classics. There is Knuffle Bunny (by the same author as Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! – another favorite), How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight, Too Many Toys, and so many others. Some of them are pure sweetness, others make me laugh. One in particular, Bad Kitty, is hilarious. A cat-owning family runs out of cat food and using the alphabet, describes all the healthy food that they bought for the kitty (asparagus, beets, cauliflower, dill). Then, again using the alphabet, it goes through all the terrible things the cat does in anger (ate my homework, bit Grandma, clawed the curtains, devoured my new book). Lo and behold, the family buys the right kind of food (an assortment of anchovies, buffalo burrito, chicken cheesecake, a donkey named Dave), and Bad Kitty does all kind of nice things (apologized to Grandma, bought me new toys, cleaned her cat box, drove me to school). It is well illustrated and really funny.
We also have Poor Puppy by the same author. All Poor Puppy wants to do is play with Bad Kitty who won’t have anything to do with him, so he dreams of around the world adventures and games he will someday play with his feline pal (quoits in Qatar for example). Throughout the book the phrase “poor puppy” is repeated many time. Poor poor poor puppy.
Why on Earth am I talking about this book and showing your photos of Snickerdoodles and the cookie jar from my childhood? Randy has been in a “poor Randy” phase for the past couple of days. This happens sometimes when I am really busy with cooking. Just this past weekend, I catered two parties and taught two brunch classes. In 48 hours. Poor Randy says things like, “You cook for all these other people, why not for me?” or – my favorite – “Why are there no cookies in the cookie jar? You used to always have cookies in the cookie jar.” Poor Randy. Poor poor poor Randy.
So in between the loading and unloading of my car, the set-up and take down of two parties, and the clean-up and destruction of my kitchen, I made these cookies. Snickerdoodles were always a favorite in my house growing up. I’m not sure how something that looks so unassuming can taste so good but they do. My sister-in-law gave us some last weekend and they were perfect. Soft, cakey, not too sweet, and lots of cinnamon. She found this gem on All Recipes and this is now my go-to for Snickerdoodles. I tinkered with the method a bit and with the baking time and temp, but otherwise, I give all credit to Mrs. Sigg – whoever she may be.
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Mrs. Sigg’s Snickerdoodles
Adapted from All Recipes
Makes about 48
I didn’t feel like forming 48 cookies, so I made mine much larger and got about 24.
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup vegetable shortening
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2¾ cups flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat the eggs in one at a time, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add the vanilla and beat one minute. Add the flour, cream of tartar, soda, and salt and mix until combined well.
Mix the two tablespoons of sugar with the 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Using a tablespoon (or a soup spoon) scrape out bits of dough and roll into balls. Roll the balls in the sugar mixture and place on a baking sheet at least 2 inches apart.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets and cool on a rack.