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Dickershnoodles...I mean Snickerdoodles

Either way, it's a fun word to say! They are not really anything special to look at. Most people would probably pass them over if they see them on a tray full of cookies. They are the shy one of the group; the quiet, understated one in the crowd. But I implore you, please do not pass these by! Give them a chance; listen to what they have to say. You may just find yourself falling in love. I know I love them. There's that slight tang lent by the cream of tartar paired with the sugar cookie flavor you loved as a kid all wrapped up in a crackly coating of cinnamon and sugar that caramelizes ever-so-slightly on the bottom to lend even more depth to that flavor on your tongue. Ah, Snickerdoodles... Sometimes I do tend to forget how great Snickerdoodles are. A few days ago, Joie de vivre made some and my salivary glands started working overtime. I knew it wouldn't take long for me to whip up a batch. Not to mention that I had to send cookies to school with my daughter for her Kindergarten "graduation" the next day (and hadn't decided which kind to make until that moment). And what I said was true, my Snickerdoodles sat in the middle of that tray full of brightly frosted, heavily sprinkled, 75% store-bought cookie offerings looking all serene and understated. Of course the kiddos went for the "pretty" ones...all except my kiddo. She was in the know (lucky her). Ah well, whatcha gonna do? Did you know that Snickerdoodle originates from a (really) rough translation of a German word meaning "crinkly noodles"? Well, here is the recipe I always go to when I make my crinkly noodles (tee hee). Snickerdoodles from Baking Illustrated p. 430 , slightly adapted

2 1/4 c. AP flour

2 tsp. Cream of Tartar

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but still cool

1/4 c. vegetable shortening

1 1/2 c. sugar, plus 3 Tbs. for rolling

2 large eggs

1 Tbs. cinnamon for rolling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheets w/ parchment or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

Cream the butter, shortening and sugar at medium speed until combined, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs. Beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Add dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 20 seconds.

Mix the 3 Tbs. sugar and cinnamon for rolling in a shallow bowl. Working with heaping Tbs. of dough, roll into 1 1/2" balls. Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar. Place on prepared baking sheets, spacing ~2" apart. Spray or grease the bottom of a small cup (or something flat) and slightly press down on balls; this helps the cinnamon sugar to "crackle" evenly during baking (you know, no "open" cookie spots showing). Bake until edges are beginning to set and centers are soft and puffy, 9-11 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. So, if you've never tried a, ah, I mean Snickerdoodle (see, isn't that fun), go ahead and try them next time you're in the mood for a cookie (without all the flair). Oh yeah, and to keep these (or any) cookies soft and fresh, rip off a small piece of bread and stick it in the container with the cookies while storing. This is another fabulous tip I learned from the Cooks Illustrated/ Baking Illustrated/ America's Test Kitchen folks (love them)!