Snickerdoodle Remix

snickerdoodles // sweetsonian

snickerdoodles // sweetsonian

When I think of snickerdoodles, I think back to the DLG.

The DLG — De la Guerra Dining Commons, was one of the main dining halls at UCSB. It’s a gorgeous building, really — super modern, mostly-white design, with giant glass windows that we used to watch the sunset from over books or family dinners with friends.

The DLG. That place had fantastic snickerdoodles. They didn’t have the healthiest of foods all the time, and there were rumors of them spraying sugar water on the salad bar (because of the beach school’s eating disorder problem), but we used to smuggle juices and fruits and snickerdoodles out as often as we could.

Oh, the days of freshman year, when going to a cafeteria was the norm. It was weird, and wonderful — and felt like going out to eat with your friends, every single day.

I’d never want to go back to those days after having lived on my own (and thankfully, with a kitchen), but it’s nice to reminisce.

These cookies are an ode to the DLG, and a rehash of one of my earlier recipes on Sweetsonian. The blog birthday is this week, so I’ve been trying to rephotograph some of my older recipes — from before the DSLR!

snickerdoodles // sweetsonian

The last two weeks have been a little weird, honestly. Fun, exhilarating, and weird. Between the finnicky freelance world, too many mediocre dates, and a couple of job offers (that I did not go hunting for), November really has thrown me for a whirl with decision making. I know I always said that I’d never move back to California, but an opportunity in San Francisco presented itself so freely and perfectly for where I envisioned my career going, that it only took an hour of thinking over for me to actually picture myself not hating my life there.

You know how I feel about the East Coast. I would never want to leave it, but I guess, like everyone, if you’re given the perfect job, you’d probably take it.

Anyway, that one came and went. That firm brought in a freelance director for the next year or so — so for now, I’ll keep designing for them. But who knows? I guess I would go anywhere for the perfect job and the opportunity to build a team of fantastic designers.

I had a fantastic trip to New York, experiencing the city from a different lens. Up until that point, I had only experienced the hipster city — raging parties and bars in the village, meeting handsome strangers left and right, and snuggling up in a friend’s bed or couch. This time was a totally different feel, visiting the friends who married last August, and now live on the Upper East Side. It was so lovely. And I mailed them a box of these cookies as a thank you.

Side note, a discovery from my colleagues: dipping these snickerdoodles in coffee will change your life.

Anyway, apologies for the absence! With travel and freelance and impromptu job prospects and craziness at work (and Tesla vs. Edison week), it’s been hard to find room for creativity. If it makes up for the lack of posting, I really do miss being on here! Xo.

snickerdoodles // sweetsonian

Snickerdoodles

Ingredients

  • WHAT YOU NEED
  • 1cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 medium-sized eggs
  • 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup tablespoons coarse, white sugar
  • 1/4 cup teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In your stand mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until light and fluffy (4-6 minutes). Add each egg, letting one fully incorporate into the batter before adding the next. Then add in the vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate, large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients — flour, salt, cream of tartar and baking soda — whisking together to mix evenly.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the batter, and mix thoroughly.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the coarse sugar, cinnamon and cardamom. Use a scoop or a spoon to roll approximately one-inch sized cookies, and then roll in the sugar-cinnamon mixture.
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. I like my snickerdoodles a little chewy.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

A Star-Spangled Tart

Something that I haven’t been quite honest about, reader, is that the past year or so has been some sort of limbo for me.  I know I’ve mentioned it, but I thought I’d address some things that have had a lot of impact on my writing, my cooking, and my outlook on life in general.

So much of my life is weighted upon my work – even for those of use who have workaholic tendencies (guilty as charged), what you do is your means to how you live your life: it determines what you eat, how you sleep, where you live, and how you spend the majority of your time awake as a person.  What you ultimately do for work says everything about who you are – everything, and no less.

When I first started working, my parents advised me to work for the weekends, and to savor time spent away from the office, while my peers say not to work too much or too hard.  Both options, to me, are a waste of time that you will never get back – as a single twenty-five year old, anyway.  If I had a family to support, my story might have been different.

Note to self: if you are not satisfied where you are, you should never be satisfied until there is a (non-fluorescent) light at the end of the tunnel, and you should never, never – ever – settle for anything less.

Maybe this is a generational thing. I feel like I’m surrounded by incongruencies: people saying that you can’t do anything without a graduate degree, others saying that you don’t need any sort of degree to be successful.  Some people are unhappy at their jobs, but stay for the benefits, and/or the ability to have their cake and eat it too.  Or they just complain, and stay where they are solely because they’re not working to change it.  Or, they put in the work to find satisfaction.  Those who pursue satisfaction – however long or winding the road may be – well, I hope with all my heart that they find it.

After twelve long months, I think I have a good idea of what will happen to me next.

I’m wrapping up my position at CIPE, where I was able to learn so much about what I want to do.  Next week, my family arrives, and I’ll be able to share a tiny slice of what my life has been like since I found my home here in Washington – and my Washington friends will finally meet my family, and probably do a long-awaited beer bat with my father.  I’m hoping for another Fourth-of-July Eight Clap.

After that, this American girl is going to Mexico for a week.

And after that, I’m taking the next step – so thank you, all of you who have dealt with my bitching and moaning, my neglect, and my stress.  Your unconditional support means the world to me, and I promise, I can pay you with food, friends, and long, chatty runs along the Potomac river.

Sweet, delectable food.  Happy fourth of July, America.

 

Sweet tart crust, by Smitten Kitchen

1.5 cups AP flour, plus whatever you need to make the dough workable
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons; 4 1/2 ounces) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg

Whipped Cream Filling

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-3 cups fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh blueberries

Directions

You’ll need two rectangular tart pans to make the American flag shape – the dough recipe gives you just enough to fill both.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a food processor, combine 1.5 cups flour, 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Pulse grind until evenly mixed.  Then, add the cubes of butter and pulse grind, slowly adding in the egg.  Pulse grind (about ten seconds each) until it won’t mix any more.  At this point, the dough was too sticky for me to work with, so I gradually added flour – about another half cup – until it was more of a pie-dough consistency.

Deb recommends chilling the dough, but I’m horribly impatient these days, and frankly, since it wasn’t required, I didn’t do it.  I rolled the dough out to about 1/4 of an inch in width, and transferred to a buttered tart pan.  I like giving tarts a nice, thick crust – the dainty crusts always fall apart on me.  I’ve given up on them.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the crust is golden to your liking.  Then, remove it from the oven, and let cool.

While that’s resting, beat your whipping cream in a stand mixer for a couple of minutes, until it looks like, well, whipped cream.  Look for stiff peaks.  As it begins to form, gradually add the sugar and vanilla extract.  Set aside in the refrigerator until your tart is ready to serve.

To prepare, use a spatula to fill the tart with whipped cream.  If you want it to be extra decadent, line the tart with a layer of fresh strawberry jam before filling with the whipped cream (that was my original intent, but I got distracted when I made this, and then forgot to do so).  Arrange your berries on top of the whipped  cream to look like a star-spangled banner, put on an American flag bikini, and share your tart with some of your best friends, American or not.