Sugar Cookies

Have you ever seen two different recipes for the same thing and didn’t know which one to make? That happens to me all the time. Sometimes I don’t bother at all, thinking it’s too much pressure to pick the “right” recipe, but if it’s something that looks really good I might just make both and see what I like better. That is the case for these dueling snickerdoodle recipes that I found on two or my favorite sites: What Geeks Eat and Simply Recipes. The big difference between the recipes is the Shuna’s at Simply Recipes has cornstarch, while Vanessa’s has the more traditional cream of tartar. You can go read Shuna’s post about why cornstarch is special. Due to this different “secret” ingredient in the cookies, I found the outcome of both to be completely different tasting cookies.

If you are cookie dough connoisseur, the cornstarch recipe wins hands down. I LOVE cookie dough, but I could barely eat any of the other recipe because it was too flour-y. The problem comes after you bake them. The cornstarch cookies have a really nice light taste, again, not too flour-y, but you pretty much have to eat them immediately. Because once they sit there for more than about 20 or 30 minutes they turn really hard and crunchy. I overcooked mine by about 3 minutes, so that probably contributed to that, but still, I don’t think you’d want to eat these cookies the next day. So they are definitely not good if you are making ahead for a party or something. They also don’t need to be chilled the way the other recipe does. So if it’s movie night with the family or something like that, these are definitely the way to go.

The other snickerdoodle recipe (pictured above with the other cookies I talk about next) isn’t bad at all, though. (UPDATE – 1/26/11: The blog this was originally posted on doesn’t exist anymore, so I’m adding the recipe at the end of this post.) They keep much better and don’t get super hard.  I’m eating one now, hours after I baked it, and it’s still very chewy and soft, but crispy around the edges, which is the perfect cookie consistency in my opinion. (UPDATE – 8/8/08: These are even better tasting and softer the next day!) When I ate a cookie from the other recipe hours later it was a brick. I especially like how these cookies are coated completely in the cinnamon/sugar mixture instead of just having it on top like the other ones.

You’d think I had enough cookies, but no, I’ve been craving some special cookies that my dad used to make, so I whipped those up along with the snickerdoodles. I’ll be bringing most of the cookies into work tomorrow so they’re not just for me (thank god, as I would definitely eat them all). These cookies are from a very old cookbook that I stole from my dad. It a kid’s cookbook from the 1950’s so it has a bunch of easy to make recipes along with some really gross sounding stuff (Creamed Dried Beef!?!?) My dad would make these cookies with me when I was a kid and I still make them fairly regularly because I love the so much. They are similar to sugar cookies but are flavored with a little molasses and some spices like cinnamon and ginger. I love them because they have a very distinct taste. They are great warm, but are just as good later and they have that perfect, soft/chewy/crispy consistency I like so much.

Molasses Crinkles

Molasses Crinkles

adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook for Boys and Girls

Dessert, Cookies | Yield: 36 cookies
Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 10 min | Total time: 3 hour 30 min

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Process

  1. Cream together butter and sugar. Add in egg and molasses and mix until smooth.
  2. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, soda, salt and spices.
  3. Add into the butter mixture and combine.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and chill dough for at least 3 hours (or overnight).
  5. After the dough is chilled preheat your oven to 375 degrees (F).
  6. Scoop out some dough with a spoon and roll it into a walnut sized ball. Dip the top into a small bowl full of sugar. Place on your baking sheet (parchment lined is best, but otherwise just greased normally) about 3 inches apart.
  7. Once your baking sheet is full, using your fingers, sprinkle or flick each cookie with a few drops of water. This will give a nice crackled surface of the cookie when it’s baked.
  8. Place in oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, just until set but not hard.

 

Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles

adapted from What Geeks Eat

Dessert, Cookies | Yield: 48 cookies
Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 8 min | Total time: 3 hour 28 min

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon

Process

  1. Using a mixer cream the butter. Add the sugar and mix together well. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
  3. Add it the butter and egg mixture and mix until well combined.
  4. Refrigerate the dough for at least 3 hours, over night is better. You can refrigerate it in the bowl and use a cookie scoop to dole it out or you can pile the dough onto a large sheet of saran wrap and create an oblong of dough that is 12” long, 4” wide, and 3” tall. This method allows you to slice the dough into chunks for the cookie portions. I prefer the slicing method.
  5. After the requisite chilling period preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F). Take the chilled dough oblong and cut 1 inch slices that you then cut into 8 chunks. Roll the chunks lightly in your hands to take the sharp edges off.
  6. Put the 1/2 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a quart glass jar or large ziplock bag and shake to combine. Drop 4 chunks into the container, seal it and shake to coat well with the sugar. Remove the chunks from the jar and place on a parchment of silpat covered cookie sheet. Repeat until your sheet is full.
  7. Bake for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them rest for 5 minutes or so before you move them to a cooling rack. Repeat the chunking, coating with sugar, baking routine until they’re all baked.