Tag Archives: snickerdoodles

Best Christmas Present Ever

Two weeks ago I gave my sister the best homemade Christmas present ever. It smelled good, tasted good, and I knew she’d love it. Here’s what it consisted of:

1  1/4 pounds of sugar

2  3/4 cups sugar

1  1/2 cups brown sugar

half a dozen eggs

10  1/3 cups flour







1 cup pecans

Non parelis and colored sugars

Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Salt

What I made and gave her was raw cookie dough for Molasses Cookies, Snickerdoodles, Scandinavians, Sugar Cookies, and Shawn’s favorite Pecan Butterscotch cookies.

Cookie dough for Christmas

Why is this the best homemade Christmas present ever? Because it makes her house smell divine plus it gave her way more cookie booty than the I would have had time to bake and decorate. The bonus was after everything was baked and eaten that was it, no worries about if what I gave her fit her decor or if she had shelf space for it. Though since she’s my sister I can say with confidence that if I did give her something it would be to her taste. She is my sister after all.

Try it, there’s still time for you to make this present yourself and give it to someone near and dear. If you’d like use the recipes on my blog, or if you have favorite holiday cookie recipes whip up a batch of those. Make sure to include all the bits and bobs they’ll need to finish the cookies such as cinnamon sugar for the Snickerdoodles, red and green colored sugar as well as some red seedless jam for the Scandinavians (whoops, sorry I forgot the jam Heather!), along with baking times and temperatures. I should have added a roll of parchment paper but my sister was creative and made do without, cause I forgot that too.

Don't forget all the bits and bobs for decorating cookies

When you’re thinking of which cookies to give make sure they can be formed into a log, then sliced and baked. Snickerdoodles, molasses crinkles, and pecan butterscotch cookies all work well and can be cut from refrigerated or frozen logs. For anything that needs to be sugared before baking simply dip the slices in sugar and make sure both sides get coated well. Scandinavians need to be smooshed into thumbprints so those work too but let the recipient know they have to come to room temperature first. Since sugar cookie dough needs to be rolled out before being cut into shapes I make a flat disc of that dough so it’s easier to roll out.

 You could also make a Christmas CD to get everyone in the cookie baking–tree decorating (in case they don’t have their tree up)–present wrapping mood. I mentioned some of my favorites in this blog post. This year I’ve been listening a lot to Straight No Chaser’s Christmas Cheer , who have cheeky remixes of some of my old favorites. I’ve also been cranking this and this, both of which have been flying around the internet this holiday season.

Another reason I gave this gift to my sister is because she’s pretty busy with their newest family member – Edgar Allen Pug. They all have their hands and laps full of this adorable new puppy. He is the softest, most scrumptious black pug ever!

Edgar Allen Pug

Edgar the pug


Filed under 50 Recipes, In between

A+ Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles were Grammy Caldwell’s signature cookie, the same way oatmeal bread was her signature bread. I remember making snickerdoodles with her in her kitchen on Strathmore Drive – rolling the dough between my hands into balls the size of small walnuts, coating them in cinnamon sugar, and then squashing them flat with the bottom of a tin measuring cup before popping them in the oven to cook. They were divine and we would devour them by the dozens.

"Grammy Caldwell"

Grammy Caldwell

It wasn’t until many years later that I learned why Gram’s snickerdoodles were so good. My sister and I were talking about Grammy and all the amazing things she used to make when Heather turned to me and asked, “You do know why her snickerdoodles were so incredible, don’t you?” Aside from all the butter, sugar, and cinnamon I couldn’t really say. Surprised at my ignorance she told me, “Grammy got an A+ for her snickerdoodles on her baking competency exam at Syracuse!” Grammy C. had been a 1925 home economics major at Syracuse University. A plus indeed.

"snickerdoodles waiting for ice cream"

When my sister got married this past weekend I couldn’t think of a better way to have Grammy with us in spirit than by having her snickerdoodles as part of desserts which I had offered to make as a wedding present. Heather and Paul had a fabulous wedding in Boston with their immediate family. Saturday saw everyone piling onto a Duck Boat tour followed by pizza and candlepin bowling.

"Heather & Paul driving the duck boat"

Heather & Paul driving the duck boat

Heather wanted a traditional cake. Paul was up for something a little different. I made a lemon chiffon cake with lemon curd and lemon Italian buttercream for Heather. For Paul’s “groom’s cake” I made two different kinds of ice cream sandwiches. An informal ice cream sandwich taste testing with my friends and neighbors had proclaimed the top winner to be Grammy’s Snickerdoodles sandwiched around strawberry ice cream. We included a chocolate brownie with chocolate  ice cream for the chocloholics (and a brownie with Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food for my nephew Bennett).

"snickerdoodles with strawberry ice cream"

Snickerdoodles with strawberry ice cream

Since my crew was running late (another Grammy Caldwell tradition*) I didn’t have time to make the ice cream sandwiches ahead. Instead I dropped off the cake and the cookies at Flatbread Pizza & Bowling and we dashed to the Duck Boat tour. We picked up ice cream on the way back  and I crossed my fingers that the eleven kids (nephews, nieces, sons and daughters) would want to help me put everything together. They did and we all had a blast eating pizza, smooshing together ice cream sandwiches and bowling. Grammy would have been thrilled. I know Heather and Paul were.

Grammy Caldwell’s Snickerdoodles

1/2 cup butter mixed with shortening, I use 2:1 butter:shortening ratio

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1  1/3 cup flour

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup sugar mixed with 2-3 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400º F. Cream together the butter, shortening and sugar (make sure your butter is softened to room temperature first). Beat in the egg, then add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt over, mixing as you go. Grammy would always sift her flour first which completely changes the amount of flour you use. I’ve done it both ways and your cookie dough will be a little less sticky if you spoon and level your flour rather than sifting first. If you decide to sift first you may need to pop the dough in the fridge for 15-10 minutes to make it stiff enough to roll. Roll dough into balls the size of small walnuts, then roll them into the cinnamon sugar mix. Place on parchment covered cookie sheet and smoosh flat with the bottom of a glass, which you occasionally dip into the cinnamon sugar to prevent sticking. The cookies spread so make sure they are spaced well apart from one another. Bake 8-10 minutes, reversing the baking pan once during baking. Cool cookies and store in an air tight container.

For ice cream sandwiches double the snickerdoodle recipe and when you are ready to serve sandwich a scoop of slightly softened premium strawberry ice cream (Hägen-Dazs is good) between two snickerdoodles. Make sure there is a generous amount of ice cream so the cookie to ice cream ratio is good.

* Grammy Caldwell was often referred to while she was alive as “The late Mrs. Caldwell”. Seems the late trait is genetic.


Filed under 50 Recipes