In visiting my Mom and Dad in Connecticut this weekend, I was helping put away some groceries and I happened to see an old cookbook waaaay in the back on a top shelf. I pulled it out and low and behold, it was the 1950 edition red and white Betty Crocker cookbook responsible for many of my favorite childhood memories.
“If there is a God,” I said to myself, “please let *the* Snickerdoodle recipe of my youth be in here.”
I’m here to tell you that God is alive and well, because on page 189, there it was, stained with grease and bits of cookie dough.
Always the job of my older sisters to bake, there was nothing more comforting than a warm, sugar and cinnamon cookie on a cold afternoon. When they came out of the oven, the tops would be slightly puffed, but like one in meditation, soon, it would settle down and compress unto itself, content in what it had to offer. The weight in my hand, the smell that wrapped around me like a blanket. Not too soft, not too crunchy with the perfect blend of cinnamon and sugar on top.
No matter where I am, a well-made, fresh out of the oven Snickerdoodle can transport me right back to that kitchen on Merwins Lane.
All of my kids have heard me talk about the magic of Snickerdoodle cookies. Throughout the years, when we’ve had to the chance to eat one we do, but we’ve all been mildly disappointed. Sure the cinnamon and sugar coating is there, but either the cookies are too big, too doughy, or too fluffy. They just weren’t the same. I was afraid that I’d never again have an honest, real and true Snickerdoodle.
And then I stumbled upon the original recipe.
I briefly wondered on Facebook if I should try to modernize the recipe, you know; make it a little healthier by not using the called for shortening. But as one commenter replied, why mess with perfection?
She had a point. If I’m searching for the original taste, I need to use the original ingredients. I’ve decided to make the cookies using vegetable shortening (my only allowance for modernization is that I chose organic vegetable shortening – as least I can pretend that I’m eating something healthy.)
This afternoon, my daughter and I will be making these wonderful, memory-inspiring Snickerdoodles.
Hopefully, my kids will appreciate the cookies as much as I did, and years from now, when my kids comes to visit and they find this cookbook tucked away on a shelf, they will be as thrilled as I am to recapture a memory of youth.
And, yes, Meryl, please stop over to try one out.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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