Soft and Thick Snickerdoodles.

The holiday baking posts continue with these yummy snickerdoodles!

Snickerdoodles seem to fly under the radar. They’re simple, which is why they don’t get a lot of attention, but I think their simplicity is what makes them so wonderful. They are soft, chewy, and sweet, with just a hint of warm cinnamon flavor. I hope to inspire you to make some with this post; they’re worth it!

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The title aptly describes the texture of these cookies: soft and thick. They aren’t cakey or dry, but instead perfectly chewy. They get rolled in a little bit of cinnamon sugar before baking which makes them look beautiful but also adds a nice sugary crunch in each bite.

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A note about the recipe… you MUST make sure your butter is very, very soft. I have made these twice now. The first time the batter was extremely crumbly to the point where I had to add a little bit of water to help it come together. The second time I made sure my butter was at room temperature for a few hours before baking, and I noticed the flour incorporated much easier. I recommend not adding all the flour at once. The first time I used the full 3 cups, and the second time I only used 2 3/4 cups because I was afraid they would be too dry. Just keep an eye on it and make sure you will still be able to roll them into balls.

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Happy baking! : )

Soft and Thick Snickerdoodles

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (I only used 2 3/4 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Topping ingredeints:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. (Check your oven temperature…mine runs very hot so I baked them at 350F for about 14 minutes!)
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the brown sugar and beat together on medium speed for several minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat to combine.
  3. With the mixer on a very slow speed, slowly add the cream of tarter, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and flour (about a cup at a time). You will likely have to mix the last part by hand because the batter will be so thick.
  4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon together.
  5. Take no more than 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture, then place on the cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining batter.
  6. Bake cookies for 11-12 minutes. They should still be very soft and almost appear underbaked, but they will continue baking on the cookie sheet. Allow them to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Recipe adapted from: http://pastrychefbaking.blogspot.com/2013/09/soft-thick-snickerdoodles.html

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

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Banana bread has always been my baking nemesis. For whatever reason, I have never been able to bake banana bread successfully. Banana muffins, yes, but not banana bread. Each time my banana bread would turn out under cooked in the middle and burned on top. It still tasted delicious but the texture was completely wrong. What was it about banana bread that was so difficult to master? Why could I make seemingly much more difficult recipes with ease (like homemade pie crusts, for example), but not this particular baked good? After several failed attempts, I decided to write off ever making banana bread. It was the one thing I couldn’t make. Audrey: 0, Banana bread: 1.

I was perfectly content not ever being able to make banana bread until a couple weeks ago. It was a Saturday morning and I had several ripe bananas staring at me, desperately needing to be used. Those bananas, couple with an intriguing find on Pinterest, convinced me to give it one more try. I hoped that I would not end up wasting precious ingredients, but came to terms with the fact that it might happen. I got out my mixing bowls and got to mashing those bananas.

I had a slight panic attack when, after the suggested 45 minutes of baking, the toothpick I used to test the bread did not come out clean. I was certain this would be another one of those recipes to add to my failed banana bread attempts. I checked it after 5 more minutes. Still not done. Finally, 5 minutes later, the toothpick test was successful and I took the golden banana bread out of the oven. It looked amazing, and I had high hopes that it would taste equally good.

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I am so happy to report that it turned out AMAZING. It was perfectly cooked through, not too dense, and full of flavor due to the cinnamon swirl in the middle and the glaze on top. The glaze is certainly not necessary, but it is a wonderful addition! In truth, it makes this recipe fall somewhere in between banana bread and banana cake. Regardless, it’s worth the time and effort!

Now I just might start experimenting with other banana bread recipes!

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

Ingredients:

For the Bread:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, not packed
  • 4 Tbs (1/2 stick) unsalted butter or margarine, soften to room temp
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about three bananas)
  • 1/3 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (I used vanilla Greek yogurt), or 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Cinnamon Swirl:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbs heavy cream or half-and-half or milk

Directions

1). Mix together flour, baking soda, salt, and 1 tsp ground cinnamon.  Set aside.  In a separate large bowl, use a stand or hand mixer to beat the brown sugar and butter.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Using a spoon or spatula, stir in the mashed bananas, yogurt/buttermilk, and vanilla extract.  Then slowly mix in the dry ingredients with the mix, but be sure to not over mix.

2). Pour half the batter into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan (will need to adjust cooking time if using a different size).  Mix the cinnamon swirl ingredients together and then pour over the batter in the loaf pan.  Top with the remaining batter.

3). Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes (or for my oven, 55 minutes!) or until wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let it cool for about ten minutes in the pan on a wire cooling rack, then remove the bread from the pan to let it finish cooling just on the rack.

4). While the bread is cooling, mix the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl.  Add more powdered sugar to reach your desired thickness.  Finally, drizzle the glaze over the bread before enjoying.

Servings: 9 Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 251 Carbs: 41g Fat: 7g Protein: 6g Sugar: 11g Fiber: 4g

WW PointsPlus: 6

Recipe adapted from: http://mckinneyliving.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/cinnamon-swirl-banana-bread/