Get ’em while you can. These are terrific as round individual cookies (which the recipe is NOT for) and as COOKIE BARS (which the recipe IS for). I like one big Pyrex bakeware, rather than rolling individual cookies and trying to get them to be ALL the same size and shape. Never works for me. One big Pyrex, 13″ X 10″, which has been greased with Crisco, or oiled, or lined with non-stick, or a parchment paper works for me.
It’s holiday time and having Snickerdoodles to celebrate with is just part of the festivities. I’m highly recommending that you have children be the “little helpers” in the kitchen. That means your children as well as the neighbor’s children. Children get upset when cakes and cookies don’t come out pretty; they feel that they “messed up” and that’s why it didn’t turn out “right”. Snickerdoodles don’t look good, so you can turn your attention to other achievements in the kitchen; measuring the ingredients properly, following the directions, participating in an enjoyable project, indulging in a treat, and showing that you are responsible by cleaning up. Believe me, Snickerdoodles don’t look good.
Why I say “get ’em while you can” is because Snickerdoodles require you leaven the dough. Once “they” find out that leavening releases bubbles of carbon dioxide gas we are all in trouble. The recipe calls for baking powder, which has a reaction with moisture, and that reaction causes the leavening agent to release bubbles of carbon dioxide gas. These bubbles of gas are in the batter and give air and a lighter texture to the baked goods.
Here is what I found on baking powder and baking soda. Baking powder is a mixture of leavening agents (baking soda, acid salts) and inert ingredients (corn starch, calcium carbonate) that react in the presence of moisture and heat to release a gas (carbon dioxide). Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a base (alkaline) that is formed when sodium carbonate is mixed with a solution of carbonic acid. Baking soda is the source of CO2 gas in the leavening system. When you go into Google and put in “leaven the dough”, see what you can find out.
Carbon dioxide has been getting a bad rap. Thank goodness there are those who are speaking out loud and clear about the efficacious qualities of carbon dioxide. It is vital and necessary. We can’t live without it. Those who are listeners to THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE have heard Cheryl speak about the book, About Face: Why the World Needs More Carbon Dioxide by Arthur Middleton Hughes, an economist and marketer who wrote this book with two scientists. Mr. Hughes died in August; the book was published September. He didn’t get the opportunity to promote the book. Yes, the world needs more carbon dioxide. The trees need it, the vegetation need it, the land, the air; we need to be balanced. We need carbon dioxide.
So now that I’ve gone on about leaven the dough, it’s time for the recipe; here we go.
2 1/2 cup flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla (I don’t like the imitation vanilla)
Heat the oven for 350 degrees F. Tell the children not to touch the oven; it’s hot.
Make sure your 13″ X 9″ Pyrex is well greased.
Gently mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Children tend to mix aggressively, and the flour would spill out all over the place; show the children how to mix gently so that all the ingredients stay in the bowl.
In another large bowl, the one that comes with the electric mixer, cream the butter. I start off slow and then gradually increase the speed till it is beating the butter. This is why you want the butter room temperature; right out of the refrigerator it would be too hard, room temperature it is much softer. While it is beating, add the sugar gradually. Add the eggs, one at a time. If you want the inside of the cookie bar to be more solid, less chewy, add one more egg, totaling 3 eggs. I like a chewy cookie bar. It comes out crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Then add the vanilla and make sure everything is mixed well.
Put the electric mixer down to a low speed and with a large spoon gradually add in the flour mixture. Make sure everything is mixed up well.
If you want, mix 1 tablespoon of sugar with 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon and sprinkle evenly on the top. I skip this last item.
Bake until golden brown with it starting to get brown along the edges, about 20 to 25 minutes. A toothpick, insert in center, should come out clean. Tell the children the baking pan is hot, to give you room to take it out of the oven; let it cool down. It will take a complete hour to cool; but these Snickerdoodles are good warm. You need it to be cooled down so that you can cut it evenly: look to cut them 6 rows the long way and 4 rows the short way. The center ones have not touched the edge of the pan; they are the chewiest. The ones closest to the edge of the pan have the crispiest outsides.
Enjoy and Happy Holidays!