Milk n’ Cookies

In food on 12/30/2009 at 2:40 pm

The other half has this weird tradition wherein cookies are only baked for the Christmas holiday. That sounds absurd to me! I like cookies all the time. Lucky for me, it’s currently the cookie season, albeit the tail end.

Nothing beats a warm cookie out of the oven with a tall glass of cold whole organic milk. The particular cookie in question would preferably be snickerdoodles or chocolate crackle, two types I’d never tried until the other half made them for me several years ago. Before that I pretty much ate packaged cookies because I couldn’t eat all the cookies I baked. My family wasn’t raised on sweets. Also, baking is too rigorous an exercise for me.

I like snickerdoodles because they remind me of Taiwanese sun pastry, my very favorite Asian dessert. They are hard to make and to find, and only made for the holidays as well. I forget which one. The name ‘snickerdoodle’ always made me think of peanut butter for some reason. The recipe calls for cream of tartar, a very underrated ingredient.

Wiki: The Joy of Cooking claims that snickerdoodles are probably German in origin, and that the name is a corruption of the German word Schneckennudeln, which means “snail dumpling.” A different author suggests that the word “snicker” comes from the Dutch word snekrad, or the German word Schnecke, which both describe a snail-like shape. Yet another theory suggests that the name comes from a New England tradition of fanciful, whimsical cookie names. There is also a series of tall tales about a hero named “Snickerdoodle” from the early 1900s which may be related to the name of the cookie.

The chocolate crackles are unlike any cookie as well, an adult treat that’s tangy from the molasses, and less sweet, rolled in powdered sugar before baking. The dough is like molten lava before it is chilled. And of course, they’ve got the proper QQ center. Both snickerdoodles and chocolate crackles have that signature two-tone look from pre-baking fairy dusting. Just gorgeous.

Unfortunately, our resident misplacer of important items lost the family recipes and had to get them scanned and sent over via pdf from the Midwest. Hooray for modern technology! We have dutifully shipped some off in gratitude. Grandma will be so proud.

Instead of oleo, the other half uses 1/2 cup lard and 1/2 cup butter. The lard imparts that vital QQ to the snickerdoodle, giving it an unique, almost savory taste and chew. This cookie is also all about the spreading, which the lard provides. The butter causes the crackly top. Make sure you only put 6 cookie balls maximum per cookie sheet or else you’ll end up with one giant sea of ‘doodle.

Jeju Tip o’ The Day: Put the cookie sheet on a pizza stone while baking to insure even distribution of heat.

Bonus Tip: Use damp hands to roll out both doughs. Handle the chocolate crackle as little as possible.

Besides these two luscious treats, the other half’s family also usually makes spritz (almond-flavored butter cookies) with a cookie gun, dream bars, chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, and melt aways for the holiday season. Father makes about 10 tins worth of dough of the assorted varieties. Everyone else is allowed to help bake them. We estimate there’s about 30 dozen total in the end. They store in the cold garage for about two months or until they are gobbled up. Whichever comes first.

  1. i will try the chocolate crackle soon! you mentioned molasses but i don’t see it in the list, do you substitute it for something? i have some molasses that is just waiting to go in some cookies…

  2. there’s molasses inherent in brown sugar. that’s what makes it brown. it’s just unrefined white sugar. we just finished our half batch, though i must say, frozen cookies left in the car are just a tad less scrumptious. 😀

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