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Monday, August 23, 2010


"shimmer, shimmer, shimmer"

If you noticed I was a little lax about posting last week, you are exactly right. I told myself I would find the time despite my "vacation" but who was I kidding; I was at an adult ballet camp which meant being physically active five to six hours a day and therefor unreasonably tired at about nine o'clock. To worsen matters the most cooking I did all week was slathering a piece of toast with peanutbutter and brewing a cup of green tea each morning; thanks to a great catering service we received hearty boxed lunches filled with caprese salads and dark chocolate brownies.

But the dream of being a professional dancer is over, at least until next year, so I'm back to hanging on your every comment and salivating over your recipes. But something wonderful happened since my last post: that new laptop I'm always alluding to arrived last week! SPUDS is finally emerging from the oppressive darkness of antiquity thanks to a luxurious Dell Inpsiron 17 (insert applause and fanfare here). But that isn't the only thing that is new this week: most colleges and universities are preparing to start another new school year. So, in honor of that beautiful, shiny new semester, and a ballet instructor from last week, I've decide to post Emeril Lagasse's recipe for snickerdoodles.

Why? One, it let's us showcase cinnamon (no I didn't forget my pledge to expand the spice cabinet) a most versatile and delicious spice. Two, when a teacher last week told us to "shimmer, shimmer, shimmer" at the end of a very long pointe class all I could think about to keep my mind off the blisters, swollen toes and a growling tummy were these cookies with their shimmering, cinnamon-sugar tops. They really are the cutest cookies around with their plump, round shape soft middle and crispy, sweet edges. I mean, who doesn't like a snickerdoodle?

Notes: Cinnamon is great in almost everything. A lot of eastern cuisine showcases it as a savory spice but I like to put it in everything from oatmeal to smoothies to sprinkled on slices of fresh fruit like bananas or even um, a slice of peanutbutter toast. In fact, I typically don't bake anything that doesn't call for cinnamon and vanilla very often, but if I do I usually add it in anyway.

Egg scare
Because I'm easily put off by unsettling news reports I substituted the 2 eggs in this recipe for 1/4 cup sour cream.
No harm done!

Shopping List:
Shortening (Butter flavored or vegetable is fine)

2 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs (or 1/4 cup sour cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 (325 if your oven cooks too hot).
2. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Whisk to combine.
3. Beat the butter and shortening over low speed until combined. Add the sugar and continue beating until it is light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
4. Add the eggs (or sour cream) to the butter mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla.
5. Using the mixture on low add the flour mixture in two parts, mixing well after each addition.
6. Roll a tablespoon of dough (or more for larger cookies) between your palms. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and roll the cookie dough in the cinnamon-sugar until coated. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass or bowl. Repeat with remaining cookies.
7. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden and just beginning to crack. They will be soft in the middle and crispy around the edges.

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