It finally feels like fall here in the Lone Star State. Can I get a witness?
I have been spending the day in complete autumnal bliss: candles lit, windows open, classical music, cozy blanket; hot tea. Never mind that it's 74 degrees...this is like stepping into an icebox after enduring the hottest summer in Texas history.
I'm drinking it in without shame...so somebody pass the wassail.
Sweet David is too. He asked me to make a strudel the other night but the recipe I tried was new and resulted in a flaky but terrible tasting dessert. I was inspired by the fall temperatures though and decided to surprise my hunk with two of his favorite things: snickerdoodles and pumpkin.
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Grandma Skinner's Snickerdoodles
Makes approx. 3 1/2 dozen
- 1 cup vegetable shortening, softened
- 1 and 1/2 c sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp good quality vanilla (I use Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract)
- 2 and 3/4 c flour
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tsp cinnamon and 3 tsp white sugar for rolling
1. Although you can use unsalted butter instead of shortening (I have done both with great results), Grandma's recipe says vegetable shortening so that's my recommendation, too.
2. Make sure you CHILL this dough. Very important.
3. I find it helpful to scoop and roll my dough balls first and then coat them in the sugar and cinnamon mixture. (Your call, but this is easier and quicker.)
4. I pre-scoop all the dough and let it chill in the fridge on the baking sheets while the batch before it bakes. It usually takes me three batches to use up all the dough but this will vary depending on your baking sheets.
5. I start watching these at 8 minutes. If they look a tad under done it's probably about time to take them out. They will continue to cook for a few minutes to get that perfectly chewy center and just barely crisp edge.
6. Let cool for about a minute then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
7. I think these are best the next day or after completely cooled and put in sealed container. Will keep up to a week if properly sealed.
8. Also, a great cookie to freeze for the holidays. (You can freeze the pre-made dough balls in a flat bottomed container lined with wax paper. No need to thaw before baking, just add a minute or two to the baking time.) Or freeze the already baked cookies in freezer bags and thaw when ready to use by leaving out at room temperature for about 30 - 45 minutes.
Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese
Makes approx. 1 & 1/2 cups
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened (OR 16oz for a thicker consistency if you prefer a dip/filling less squishy...very technical terminology)
- 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (you can also use 1/4 cup pumpkin for a thicker consistency.)
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- 1/8 c white sugar
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
Remove from fridge, spoon about 1 tsp of cream cheese onto the flat side of the cookie. Press another cookie onto the cream cheese to make a sandwich. I still prefer to dip...or gobble them up plain...but David is a sandwich man.
Make these. Send them to your friends. Take them to the office.
You can thank me later for the accolades you'll receive. Or my grandma. She'd like that too.
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