12 hours shifts are making baking a whole lot more difficult, but they haven't stopped me yet. The other day when I came home from a very long day, I just wanted to eat my dinner, share a beer with Chris and veg on the couch for an hour or two before I fell into bed. That was my plan anyway.
However, when I finally made it home I discovered that one of my neighbors was outside working on the lawn. The front lawns are adjacent and quite small so it's not that big of a deal to mow both sides if you're mowing anyway -- but she went further. She had used a shovel and her hands to edge the entire shared front section, which is quite a feat considering it's never been done in the 7 years I've lived here. I thanked her profusely of course (as had Chris earlier) and she said that she had been watching Oprah and Oprah had encouraged everyone to do something nice for their neighbor so she mowed for both of us and when she noticed how raggedy the front edge was she edged it too.
The whole thing was so nice it inspired me to bake the snickerdoodle dough I had sitting in the fridge, so that I could give her some cookies. I may not be much for lawn work, but I can bake a mean batch of cookies. :)
There's not much to say about snickerdoodles other than yum. Cracky, crispy on the outside, chewy in the middle. Mine baked longer than the 10 minutes the Caroel Walter's book called for, but that was really it. Soft, crispy, perfect cinnamon sugary cookies fresh from the oven -- you can't get much better than that.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tarta
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
Combine the butter and vegetable shortening in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment until combined and soft. Add the sugar and mix for a couple more minutes. Add the eggs one a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients in two additions and mix on low just until combined. Scrape the dough into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 6-8 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Fill a small bowl with combination of 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp. ground cinnamon. Take the dough out of the refrigerator. Using your hands, take a piece of dough and roll in your hands to form an approximately 1-inch ball. Roll the ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture until thoroughly coated and place on the baking sheet. Place the balls about 3 inches apart on the sheets. It is also a good idea to stagger the rows so the cookies have the most room to spread out.
Bake for about 10 minutes or until they have flattened out and browned slightly, and the tops have cracked. Rotate the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking. Remove the cookies from the oven and place sheets on cooling racks for several minutes until they have firmed up, then transfer cookies directly to the racks to finish cooling.