The comforting scent of butter and Cinnamon – Snickerdoodles
I find baking a pleasurable experience and I have to thank butter for that. I don’t think there’s a more fluid ingredient in the world than butter. And I mean true, unadulterated butter- not spreads, not ‘I can’t believe it’s not butter’ but BUTTER. I mean, let’s face it, as good as ‘I can’t believe it’s not butter’ might be, I can and do believe that it’s not butter. If you’re going down the savoury route, butter is round the corner; if you want a rich moist cake, butter is there to hold your hand. And most importantly, when you’re done in the kitchen and you wipe the sweat off your brow, what do you smell of? Butter. Boy do I love the smell of butter. This, and the warmth that spices like Cinnamon bring are one of the reasons why I will never stop being enthusiastic about food. I really do thank God for the gift that is butter.
Now down to business – I baked some snickerdoodles today. The soft, cakey, cinnamony ones that, after just one bite into them, make you wish that you were in their soft pillowy centre. And I have to thank Nigella’s How to be a domestic goddess (again!) for these dear, dear cake-cookies.
(Don’t you just love the specks of cinnamon!)
- 250g plain flour, sifted
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 125g butter, at room temperature
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cinnamon sugar:
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
Preheat oven to 180°C and line and lightly grease two baking sheets. If you are fortunate enough to have parchment paper, then by all means use it instead. If you’re even more fortunate to have cookie sheet, well, I might envy you.
First of all, sift the flour, nutmeg, baking powder and salt together then set aside.
In a large bowl using a hand mixer or in a standalone mixer, or even your glorious upper body strength, cream the butter with the 100g of sugar until light and pale in colour, then beat in the egg and vanilla.
Next slowly add the sifted dry ingredients until the mixture becomes doughy. After this, chill the dough for 30 minutes in the fridge or if you’re impenitently impatient like me, chuck it into the freezer for 15 minutes. You do this to make the dough more firm when handling.
Whilst you’re tapping your foot waiting for the dough, you could reluctantly clean up like I did and also mix the cinnamon and the sugar together in a bowl.
Now, take a small piece of dough and roll it gently between your palms to form a ball of about 1 inch or so; if you are a meticulous person much unlike myself, you could use a tablespoon to measure the dough before rolling. After this, roll the ball in the cinnamon sugar and then place the ball on your baking sheet. Carry on doing this till you’ve used up the dough. Make sure they are about 2 inches apart from each other. Slightly press the top of each ball to stop them from being too ambitious when rising.
Now all that’s left is the baking, which is for about 10-15 mins or until they are puffy and have set. You need to be as watchful as a hawk at this point because any little distraction on your end could lead to your cookies cracking. You definitely don’t want this to happen because it will make you forfeit the soft centre, which is the main reason why I love these cookies.
Take them out of the oven and leave them to rest on the baking sheets for 1 minute, or again, if you’re impatient like me, eat them fresh out of the oven. If you’re not, transfer to a wire rack to cool and then eat them.
The good things about these cookies is that they keep well in an airtight container/cookie jar (provided that you don’t have busy hands that keep reaching to them).
I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!