RECIPE: Bon Appetit’s best snickerdoodles, tweaked

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Some recipes you shouldn’t really mess with.  For awhile, I was afraid to alter any recipe Martha Stewart and team put out into the universe (as I talked about when sharing my buttermilk pancake recipe), but honestly -- once you have built up your baking intuition, there are minor tweaks that you can comfortably make when you bake.  Until you feel comfortable enough to scan through a recipe and think “nah, I want more brown sugar”, I encourage you to try a recipe as-is once and then modify things the second time you bake it.

As for me, I tried out Bon Appetit’s snickerdoodle recipe as written and thoroughly enjoyed the cookies that came out; I especially liked the fact that I didn’t have to rest the dough (like I do for my salted chocolate chunk cookies).  The second time I made it, however, I started playing around with the spices and landed on a not-quite-kosher-but-still-delicious snickerdoodle-esque cookie.

What are my minor tweaks? 1) Ginger. I’ve added ground ginger to the dough and to the spice mixture. 2) Not just cinnamon/sugar coating. I’ve added some cardamom and (again) ground ginger to the spice mix, while keeping cinnamon the most prominent flavor. While the supporting spices don’t make themselves super-known, it creates more depth of flavor for the final cookie.

I could have gone farther and added bits of crystallized ginger to the dough, but I didn’t want to deviate too far from tradition -- but I encourage you to, like me, experiment and create your perfect snickerdoodle.

Bon Appetit’s snickerdoodles, tweaked

Adapted from BA’s Best Snickerdoodles; yield = ~30-32 cookies, using a medium cookie scoop

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MISE IT

Wet ingredients

  • 226g unsalted butter, room temperature (2 sticks)

  • 200g (organic) sugar

  • 100g (organic) brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste

Eggs

  • 100g whole eggs (~2 large eggs)

Dry ingredients

  • 336g all purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

Sugar + spice coating (leftovers of this are splendid for oatmeal or yogurt + fruit)

  • 50 grams (organic) sugar

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon cardamom

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

MAKE IT

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • In a stand mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter, sugars, and vanilla paste until light and fluffy.

  • Add the eggs on low speed and mix until combined.

  • Add all dry ingredients at once, and mix on low speed until mostly combined.  Take bowl out from mixer and, with a spatula, finish the last bit of mixing by hand.

  • In a bowl, combine the ingredients of the sugar + spice coating while your cookie dough sits out at room temperature.

  • Using a medium sized cookie scoop, make scoops of dough and place on baking sheet.  Once all cookies have been scooped, go back to the first cookie you scooped, and roll and then sprinkle dough round with the sugar+spice mixture.  Repeat with all cookies.

  • Bake at 350 for 11-13 minutes, until the edges have just set.  Cool on pan for a few minutes and then move to cooling rack.

TWEAK IT

  • Feel free to revert back to the spices called for by BA.

  • Try incorporating small pieces of crystallized ginger into the dough for an amplified ginger flavor.

  • Serve these as part of an ice cream sandwich or as crumbs on top of a frozen zabaglione!

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