Saturday, December 22, 2012

Snickerdoodle Dandy

Now if you haven't already caught on, this is my absolutely favorite time of year.  With all the cookies, cakes and cake ball rolling that has occurred in the past 2 weeks you would think my hands would've fallen off by now! And having an excuse to buy excessive amounts of presents for family and friends to fuel my shopping habits is definitely a plus.  But beyond all the physical gifts, I find true happiness in the deeper meaning of the holiday season.  The kindness, sincere joy and love exchanged among even the farthest of strangers make me all tingly inside.  Just yesterday I joined a group of carolers at work who set out to visit patients throughout the hospital and spread the Christmas spirit.  To see their genuine smiles and outward gratitude for having us visit, although brief, was the most fulfilling gift I could ask for this Christmas season.  

Although the emotional aspect of the season means more to me than any purchasable item, it's still imbedded somewhere deep inside me and the holiday spirit that I must have some gifts for my family to rip open at 8am when my sister wakes us up. Yes, still.  As I was last minute Christmas shopping last night {mainly for myself}, I couldn't help but stop in Francesca's.  For anyone who doesn't know Francesca's it's an adorable boutique chain with the an eclectic selection of clothing, jewelry, purses, wall decor, and endless other fashion accessories.  Aside from all that, my main attraction is all the fun nicknacks and gadgets they sell.  Anything from cute wine corks, to kitchen supplies, to quirky books, and fun games, it is IMPOSSIBLE to leave without purchasing something.  And it just so happens I found the perfect gift for myself..I seem to be finding a lot of them this year woops! 
Since I don't exactly bake with wine, I make up for it by drinking it!  After all, a long night of baking is best accompanied by a nice glass of red. Malbec to be exact.  If you're a red wine lover like myself, and have yet to try Malbec, I highly recommend you do. Like now :) 

Now onto the heavenly creation that was mixed from a combination of my absolute favorite recipe and those 12 sips of wine..

Growing up it was nearly impossible for me to walk passed Gloria Jeans in my local mall without stopping in for a Snickerdoodle.  They were soft, chewy, puffy, cinnamon-sugary, gigantically perfect and undeniably the best cookie I've ever had.  Now I wouldn't dare try to replicate something so divinely irreplaceable, but I do haven my own version that is hands down my favorite and definitely a must for the holidays. I'm going to warn you its nearly impossible to have just one, so you might as well put your sweatpants on now! 
Snickerdoodle Cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs cinnamon {you can do less, I like my ratio even}

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt and set aside.

Cream together butter, sugar, and eggs in the large bowl of a mixer. Add in dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
Place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 
While you're waiting, preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine cinammon and sugar and mix well to create topping.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll into small balls.  Coat the balls in the cinnamon sugar and place on the lined baking sheet.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until puffy and the edges begin to lightly brown.  Place on a cooling rack until fully cool. 
Makes about 30-36 cookies.
 You might want to double the batch, because the first one might not make it to Christmas morning ;)

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