Thursday, December 15, 2005

Sugar and spice make cookies very nice...

The christmas package baking is going well - I got 4 more things done today and the rest is mainly decoration. I hope to have the round up at the end of the weekend or early next week. There are quite a few things so it may take a day or two to get it all together. The candy thermometer had a good workout today!

I have been looking for a good snickerdoodle recipe for awhile and tried out this recipe for Jeff to bring into his team tomorrow as an extra thank you using the ingredients they gave us. Most of the recipes I've used or found use full shortening or half shortening/butter in the recipe. This one uses only butter and the final taste was what I was looking for. Some recipes do not call for cream of tartar, but whenever I make them it always seems like it is missing something. I'm not sure what exactly it adds, but I can tell the difference.

After the dough chills for an hour, it is ready to be rolled into balls and then into a cinnamon sugar mixture which gives the tops that classic sparkle/crackle. We like soft and chewy snickerdoodles so I took them out at exactly 8 minutes. They had very little color, puffy in the center, and just set. I did test a few cookies by slightly flattening them and baking for about 10 minutes to get a crisp cookie. The inside did remain chewy in the center of the crisp cookies.

A spicy combination of recipes I've been wanting to try makes up dinner tonight. The first, Seared Chicken with Sriracha Barbecue Dipping Sauce, was to be made with Chicken Thighs, but we opted for Chicken Breasts. The juicy chicken is marinated in a citrus mixture for a couple hours and then seared off in a skillet. The dipping sauce is very spicy from the sriracha, but having the citrus in the chicken and the honey in the glaze brings it down a notch or two. I think the combination of chicken and the spicy sauce would be great served over rice next time.

White Cheddar Grit Cakes makes up the side dish. I'll admit we've never used grits, let alone quick cooking, so I had been waiting anxiously to see how this one would come out. The texture reminded me of Polenta but the taste is a touch different. They are pretty much the same, but Grits are made from Hominy - dried white corn from which the hull and germ have been removed - and polenta is usually made from yellow corn which contains just the germ. I think I have that right anyway! Feel free to weigh in on that debate! The grits are cooled in a baking dish then cut into triangles to saute. This gives it a crispy crust while the center warms up. The jalapeno gives a subtle heat that works well with the grits.


  1. Love the grits recipe. We eat grits a lot (Southern roots, LOL!) I think I'll try this sometime this weekend.

  2. Love your site, Joe, and you have my vote over at Hedonist in several categories. You take amazing photographs, and your descriptions make it seem as though the reader were actually there, enjoying these wonderful creations.

    I love how you don't post on here every single day asking people to vote for you. Modesty is a rare but honourable trait. :)

  3. I find it interesting that your snickerdoodles look flatter than my mom's recipe (which I love but I don't have yet :-o !! ) I'll see her in a couple of days so maybe I'll compare and see if there is a difference with your recipe.

  4. Michele - I hope you get to try it - we really enjoyed our first grits experience!

    Anon - Thank you so much for the comments! I really appreciate them!

    thediningdica - Yeah, they puffed quite a bit in the oven but slowly fell into chewy thinish cookies. I'm not sure they are that thin though as they are not really crisp.