We are in week 3 of the Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off celebrating the new Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson. The past two weeks Heather of girlichef fame selected our recipes for us, but this week we are making a recipe of our choice. If you would like to see a list of all the participants in this Cook-Off just click on Heather’s web page. I’m looking forward to seeing everybody’s week 3 recipe choice. I thought I would just open the book to a random page and bake whatever recipe was on it because I’m confident that we would love whatever the selection would be. But at the top of my list of things to do this week is to make cookies for my mom. I wanted a cookie that has lots of flavor, a great texture, keeps well and used ingredients I had on hand. (Not asking much, am I?) I hit the jackpot with this snickerdoodle recipe! I can confidently say that this is the best snickerdoodle I have ever tasted. I almost swooned when I took a bite of this freshly baked, warm, soft in the center but crispy around the edges, oh so fragrant cookie.
I love the flavor of vanilla beans but don’t buy them very often because they are expensive and sometimes there’s just a scant fourth to half a teaspoon of pulp inside. Last Christmas at Costco I found vanilla beans in a package of about a dozen beans and bought some for myself and for gifts so I’m currently well supplied. If you ever see them at Costco grab them right up because they are fantastic. The vanilla pulp, plus the 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar in the dough took this treat to places its never gone before. When I started to beat the butter and sugar together I was interrupted by a phone call and let the mixture beat for at least 7-8 minutes. When I got back to the mixer the mixture had tripled in volume and almost looked like whipped cream. I think this was one of the reasons the texture of the cookie was so good, definitely something I will pay attention to the next time I make this recipe. I just can’t rave about it enough. Joy calls this cookie a “simple wonder” and she is so right! Just in case I’m too subtle – I LOVE this cookie!
- 2-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ vanilla bean, scraped of seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Stop mixer and scrape down the bowl. Beat in eggs on medium speed, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between additions. Stop mixer and scrape down the bowl. Beat in eggs on medium speed, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between additions. Beat in vanilla extract and bean.
- Stop mixer and scrape down the bowl. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Stop the mixer, remove the bowl, and finish incorporating ingredients with a spatula. Refrigerate dough, in the bowl, for 30 minutes.
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- To make the topping: in a small bowl toss together cinnamon and sugar. Spoon dough into heaping tablespoonsfuls and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 12 – 14 minutes, until slightly browned around the edges. My cookies took about 11 minutes to bake. Remove from oven and cool cookies on baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Snickerdoodles will last, in an airtight container, at room temperature for up to 3 days.
If you would like to read Heather’s interview with Joy you can find it here. The giveaway is over but Joy has such a lovely personality and it was fun to read about her conversation with our girlichef. Next week is our review of Joy’s book. I can’t wait to share my thoughts.
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