snickerdoodles (with 5-spice option)

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one of my all-time favorite cookies. it's a sugar cookie with just the right amount of salty and sweet with a hint of cinnamon. good balance of crispy and buttery.

just added a topping for anyone feeling adventurous! yes, i know, "blaspheme!" mixing German and Chinese.
Ingredients
2 1/2 cups (13.5 oz) all-purpose flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick (4oz / 113.5 g) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (3.5 oz / 102.5 g) vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cup (10.5 oz / 300 g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
sugar-spice mixture
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
OR
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground star anise
2 tbsp granulated sugar
Special equipment
cookie dough scooper, really saves a lot of time
coffee grinder or mortar and pestle for grinding spices
 
Directions
1. adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350°. grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
2. whisk flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside.
3. either by hand or electric mixer, cream butter, shortening, and 1 1/2 cups of sugar until combined, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes with electric mixer set at medium speed.
4. scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. add eggs. beat until combined, about 30 seconds.
5. add dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 20 seconds.
6. combine sugar-spice mix in a shallow bowl. working with scant 2 tablespoons of dough each time, roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. roll balls in cinnamon sugar and place on cookie sheet, spacing them 2 to 2 1/2 inches apart. if the dough feels a bit too soft and sticky to work with, refrigerate for an hour or two.
7. bake, reversing position in oven halfway through baking time (from top rack to bottom and front to back), until edges of cookies are beginning to set and centers are soft and puffy, 9 to 11 minutes. let cookies cool on cookie sheet 2 to 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack with wide spatula.
 
Notes:
you can freeze the uncooked dough and store in freezer for that quick hot cookie fix. i place the dough balls, already rolled in the sugar-spice mixture, on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until they are set enough that they don't stick together. takes about an hour or 2. store in ziplock freezer bags.

i pop them out of the freezer and straight into the oven. you might want to adjust the oven temperature down 5-10 degrees and increase the time, a bit, to ensure that the cookies are properly baked through.

if you adjust the shortening and butter proportions, know that this will affect the structure of your cookie. butter tends to spread so that you will have a flatter cookie. shortening is a hydrogenated fat which gives it more air pockets giving the cookies more lift. shortening also produces a crisper cookie. you can increase the vegetable shortening and decrease the butter if you want a less fattening recipe, but then you would lose out on the buttery flavor, plus the texture will be less tender and more dry; the reason why I love this recipe is for it's crisp but still tender texture.

if you don't have cream of tartar but you do have baking powder, sub 2 teaspoon of baking powder for the cream of tartar and the baking soda (baking powder is 1 part alkaline baking soda and 2 part acidic cream of tartar) . this substitute has less of the subtle tang which i think gives good flavor contrast: sweet, buttery, tangy, yummy.

Snickerdoodle recipe from Simply Recipes with very good notes about the chemistry and also utilizes cornstarch as the secret ingredient.
Categories:
Meal   SnackCuisine   German
Dish   CookieCooking Method   Baked
Prep Time   15 to 30 minutesCooking Time   less than 15 minutes
Features   Vegetarian




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