Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Snickerdoodles...with plenty of very informative pictures.

I dislike very much, recipes that are not accompanied by pictures...it’s NOT that I’m not very clever and can’t imagine what the wordy instructions of recipes are supposed to culminate in...no really it isn’t, I really am clever, at least when cake is involved, maybe not physics so much. But firstly, a recipe without a picture is much less likely to be attempted in the first place, and this surely can’t just be the case in my kitchen. A picture gives you an immediate, accurate and objective view of the recipe as a whole and an strong indication as to whether it’s something you might fancy trying and could enjoy.

Secondly, a picture gives you a detailed insight into what the recipe author is intending you to produce, meaning that all the little discrepancies that occur between different ovens and all the other little bits and bobs that are involved in the translation from highly tuned test kitchens to real person cooking; cooking at home, at the hands of the people that cook to eat, are more easily bypassed.

This is what happened....I made Snickerdoodles under Nigella’s guidance, but sans pictorial aid, and well, they are mighty lovely and kind of shortbready and the perfect spice combination for this time of year. Buuuuut they turned out to be round ball shapes, and when I Googled for further reference...I found *gasp* flat Snickerdoodles....eeeeverywhere. So here I am, mid biscuit fail, when I read that perhaps maybe possibly their name originates from the German word Schnecke, which describes a snail shape...and mine are indeed snail shaped AND posses the crackly surface which apparently is another important attribute.

So without Nigella making any wordy or picture reference to her intended Snicke shape, I am confused. Confused yet delighted I must clarify, because whatever shape these treats are suppoooosed to be, they really are delicious and sit perfectly next to a hothot coffee on a dark afternoon. So recipe writer people...pleaseplease can we always have photos, but Nige, on this occasion I am willing to forgive, firstly because, well, you’re Nige, and secondly, because these are damn fine biscuits and most things that are not quite what they are supposed to be are, in fact, all the better for it. With Love and Cake.

From How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson.

A few notes:
  • Nigella says this recipe makes 32 biscuits....she is a big fat liar-pants because I only got near to 20. 
  • I've seen lots of different variations on this theme across the bloggersphere...so if you fancy being adventurous, have a Google. 
  • Freshly grate your nutmeg...always. 
  • If you have any cinnamon sugar left, it is wonderful sprinkled on top of frothy coffee.
Makes 18-20

You will need 

A baking sheet, greased or lined

2 tbsp and 100g caster sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
250g plain flour 
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg 
¾ tsp baking powder
pinch salt
125g butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Preheat your oven to 180°c.
  • First, stir together the 2 tbsp of caster sugar and the cinnamon. Pour out onto a plate or saucer and set aside for now.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, nutmeg, baking powder and salt and set that aside too.
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  • Stir in the flour mixture a bit at a time until everything is incorporated and you have a smooth paste...this takes a bit of effort and patience and you will probably be left with a few rubbley bits but that's ok.
  • Now, to shape the biscuits pull off a walnut sized piece of the dough with your fingers and roll it into a ball.
  • Roll the ball in the cinnamon sugar until well coated and pop onto your prepared baking sheet.
  • Do the same with the rest of the dough and bake for around 15 minutes, when the biscuits should be deep bronze and crackly.
  • Let sit on the baking sheet for a minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool. 

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