A Snickerdoodle Story

So today is all about my love affair with the delightful Snickerdoodle cookie.  (Such an odd name!) I have an aunt who used to always make them at Christmas time, and I always loved their cinnamon-y deliciousness. I find Christmas quite a suitable time for nostalgia of all sorts, so this week seemed a perfect time to tackle Snickerdoodles.



I had a lot of trouble with my cookies after we stopped using sugar. They just wouldn’t go crispy! I honestly have nothing against a good soft cookie, in it’s place, but not when the gingersnaps were gingerdroops. The flavour was still yummy, but it was so annoying that I actually stopped making cookies for nearly a year. Yes. Almost a year with no cookies. My poor children… The Snickerdoodles are not a really crunchy cookie – they are crunchy on the outside, and soft in the middle. And if you leave them out in humidity they go soft, so store them in an airtight container as soon as they cool. And of course, you can leave them in the oven for a few extra minutes to give them a little extra crunch. But watch carefully if you do… don’t burn them!



See, dextrose, which is the main alternative to sugar advocated by the fructose-free gurus, really is a tasty bit of business. But it works very differently in baking. My baking results were all over the place when I tried to use my normal recipes and just replace sugar with dextrose. They all burned quickly, cookies didn’t get crispy, cakes were dry, and then if I did manage to get an edible result we had to polish it off within a couple of hours before it spontaneously turned into sawdust. They just went stale and hard so annoyingly fast. Grrr. I much prefer making things a day (or two) ahead of parties and the like, so that I can be cool, calm and collected on the day. As opposed to running around like a madwoman at the last moment. Not pretty. Really. And my family prefers not to have the madwoman put in an appearance either.



So I started making notes every time I made something. Each time I baked, I’d tweak the recipe and make notes about the result. Then later, some suggestions for further changes. And eventually I came up with a very snappy gingersnap! And in time, a cupcake that was moist and tender – even two days after being baked!



But I digress… today will be an ode to the Snickerdoodle. Just in time for Christmas.



This recipe make 5 dozen.
Snickerdoodle Cookies
Cinnamon-y with a crunchy outside and soft in the middle.
  1. 1 cup (160 gr) dextrose (you can find this in the brewing section at the supermarket.)
  2. 1/2 cup (160 gr) glucose syrup (this stuff is much easier to weigh than measure. It's very sticky!)
  3. 1/4 tsp pure 'good tasting' stevia powder (NuNaturals brand if possible. Stevia's are not all equal, some are horribly bitter.)
  4. 1/2 cup (125 gr) lard
  5. 1/4 cup (65 gr) butter
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1/4 tsp salt
  8. 2 3/4 cups (420 gr) self raising flour (or use plain flour plus 3 tsps baking powder)
Mixture for rolling dough balls through
  1. 1/4 c dextrose
  2. 2 tsp cinnamon
  1. 1. Add dextrose, glucose syrup, stevia, lard, butter, eggs, and salt to a medium mixing bowl. Beat.
  2. 2. Beat in flour
  3. 3. Shape dough into 2 cm balls
  4. 4. In a small bowl combine cinnamon and dextrose mixture.
  5. 5. Roll dough balls through cinnamon mixture
  6. 6. Place on ungreased cookie sheet
  7. 7. Bake at 160C for 12-15 minutes, turning half way through (unless you have a fabulous oven that bakes things evenly)
  1. 1. Add everything except flour to thermomix bowl, mix on 3 for 15 seconds.
  2. 2. Add flour, combine slightly with spatula (I like a stiff narrow silicon one for this rather than the thermomix one)
  3. 3. Set to lid closed, and interval setting for 15-20 seconds (till it looks combined).
  4. 4. Shape and coat dough balls as explained above.
Red Hill Recipes http://www.redhillrecipes.com/

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