Well it has been pretty warm lately, summer has been coming! That means we’ve been eating more ice cream and baking less unfortunately. The entire house just heats up way too much as soon as you put the oven on! However, right now I’m the only ones home, (plus the dogs but they get to sleep on the cool shady floor- jealousy) so therefore without any one here to complain about the heat I will do some baking! And of course share the recipe de jour (well week now I guess) with all of you!

Ok, so I go to our kitchen bookshelf (we have a bookshelf in pretty much every room of the house each with different genres and such) and take down the Williams-Sonoma baking book. We have the baking and Italian cooking one and use both all the time.

Anyways, I turn to my favourite two pages and am immediately struck by a dilemma. which to make!? Snickerdoodles or oldfashioned oatmeal cookies!? they are both sooo good! Its so hard to choose, so I thought of you guys. Which would you rather hear about? I came to the conclusion that probably you all have at least one oatmeal cookie recipe from Grandma (maybe not granny but its soo easy to get a hold of a good one) and it took me ages to find this good, reliable snickerdoodle recipe, and some of you might not even know them, so that made up my choice.Hope you all agree with my decision.

So, without further ado, I present to you (rhyme… đŸ˜› ) SNICKERDOODLES!

Ingredients:

2 table spoons plus 3/4 cup sugar (6 oz or185 g)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour (plain) (5 1/2 oz or 170g)

1 teaspoon cream of tartar 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)

pinch of salt

1/2 cup butter, softened ( 4 oz or 125 g)

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C)

In a bowl, stir together the 2 tablespoons of sugar and the cinnamon. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside

In a large bowl, combine the butter, the 3/4 cup of sugar, egg and canilla. With an ellectric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat until the mixture is smooth and well blended. Reduce the speed to low, add the flur mixture, and continue to mix just until incorporated (the worst mistake normally occurs here. People tend to over beat the mixture, I have done it many times. It just doesn’t bake the same so as soon as it is blended  shut it off!)

Roll 1 rounded teaspoonful of dough between your palms into a ball. Roll the ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Put the sugar coated ball on an un-greased baking sheet (though you may put a sheet of parchment paper underneath if you like), spacing the balls 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and a second baking sheet.

Bake until round, flat and a light golden brown, should be 8-10 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cool for 1-2 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to the racks to cool completely.

Bon appetit! (you should get about 2 dozen allowing for size of cookies)

These are great recipes for the fall too. The rich cinnamon flavour is perfect for autumn in New York or even Christmas time. I normally wouldn’t have had them at this time of year, but as soon as I saw the recipe I realised how long it had been and I had a huge craving so they are in the oven as we speak (or as I type rather…)

In the book there is a little piece about the cookies, a description I guess. I’ll write the tid bit here:

“A cinnamon-and-sugar topping distinguishes these classic cookies. Served warm with a tall glass of cold milk, they make a favourite after-noon snack. Store cream of tartar, tightly covered for up to 1 year)

Ok, well I have never left the cream of tartar for so long, because we always find another use for it, especially around the holiday season, so I dont know what to tell you there, but the rest is all too. They are great morning noon or night, with milk they are superb! They are also great if you freeze a batch and then take them out just as you need. I’ll probably do that with half of this batch because during the summer my sister and brothers and I love to eat them still frozen! They are just as good as when they are warm, and still just as deliciously chewy!

I’ve just been looking through some of the other recipes. I’ve forgotten how many great ones there were! Next time maybe the Cinnamon-Chocolate Chip refrigerator cookies (we also like to freeze these… :P) or the Othellos are great. There are some good biscoti recipes and a nice one (though not my favourite) recipe for walnut cardamom viennese crescents… Or of course I could give the delish Peanut butter cup cookies… oooh! Just caught site of the chocolate Fudge Squares… yummmo! but those are really great for the holdiay season! There are so many that are perfect for that time of year I think I will have to put up a seperate one each day for a month or two to get them all to you!

Also is anyone a carrot cake fan but allergic to nuts? I have a great on for nut free carrot cake and a lot of other recipies where nuts or dried fruit are optional because I prefer my baked goods to be clean… so to speak (I’ll explain another day) And so if anyone wants that, I’ll put it up.

From any sugestions I’ve given, if there is one you would like to see, leave a comment. Or if you like… say coffee and want a recipe involving it (I have a great coffee cake recipe and another for esspresso-spice cheesecake) or if you like almonds, or anything of the like… Or if you would rather a recipe for something more… healthy or trailmix type…  there are some great bread recipes int he book. THeres a Vegetable Nut bread (which actually turned out surprisingly appetizing, despite looking moldy), pistachio-olive bread, honey nut bread (i like this quite a bit if I either dont put the nuts or finely grind them in a food processor) and countless other great recipes…

I would put them all up, but its so time consuming I’d hate to put one no one would use. Especially now that they are all done I should get back to my history revision… (nearly done those exams! Only English literature- sorry bout the rants on the books last time, history and chemistry- which I still haven’t started for…)

This summer however, I will probably be able to write many more posts, and possibly if the recipes still get as good reception I’ll put up more more often. DUring the summer we are all so active that me and my sister will normally bake something either the night before (or one of those over night recipes where you leave it in the fridge over night and then just harden and cut in the morning) or get up early to bake before anyone’s up. We have a great habit of stuffing something in the oven and going for a jog around the block a few times before stopping back in and taking it out of the oven. We can proudly say only once did something burn on us… ANyways my point being, becuase we are so active, going to the beach, biking, playing volley ball and soccer (and dancing for me) as well as our weekend adventures rock climbing or hiking we HAVE to make things more… healthy because we wil be eating them so much. So bye bye christmas triple chocolate cupcakes and hello Strawberry orange, Orange Yogurt, and bran muffins. :S not that they are that bad but… we do have to purge on the fresh summer fruit to get our summer sweet kicks…

Sometimes we end up in Europe, Greece, Italy or Spain for our summers visiting family or traveling, so we really take advantage of the fruit which is always so great and fresh! Unfortunately I have yet to recipe that uses fresh watermellon or fresh cherries in a baked good. Normally fruit needs to be dried…

Oh boy, people are gonna start getting home soon and I’m still not at my goal for history revision. Better leave the cyber world and get back to the physical world. I think i prefer the 2-D world of computers… life is so much easier, I mean there are undo buttons and everything…*sigh*

Don’t forget, all comments welcome and you can email me if you have any suggestions or requests: miraella_rose@yahoo.com

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