Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A bit of my personal baking history and a recipe to share...

I come from a family with lots of good cooks.  I am also fortunate that many of those good cooks are also good bakers (those two talents do not always go hand in hand).  I think I am an okay cook.  But I thoroughly enjoy baking.

My specialty has always been cookies.  I remember Grandma Lewis baking cookies with me.  I especially remember her allowing me to dirty many more dishes than my mom allowed me to dirty as I baked cookies.  The dirty dishes weren't a big deal because Grandma, first of all was my grandma, and secondly had a dishwasher.  I also remember baking cookies at home and getting compliments from many people, but Dad always had good comments (he is still one of my biggest fans).  I also remember Steve, our hired hand, commenting on my cookies.  This stuck with me, because he mainly treated me as a little sister, teasing or not really acknowledging me much.  Those compliments of my cookies meant a lot.

I remember having treat days in high school and getting good comments on my brownies (which were from a box).  I also did a speech about making monster cookies.  I think that is the only time I have ever made them--that is just a lot of ingredients!  In college I missed baking so much that I rented the little kitchen in our dorm building and bought the ingredients to bake chocolate chip cookies.  I had to buy all the ingredients as I didn't have any of that stuff on hand in the dorm room.  But they were so good and so worth it.

I think cookies are still my favorite thing to bake, but I mainly rotate through the same recipes.  My favorite is chocolate chip, but I have a few others I also make regularly.  For our local farmers' market I usually bake snickerdoodles.

I really never remember having snickerdoodles as a child.  I remember having them occasionally in college, care of Pfeifer Dining Hall.  The first year we did farmers' market I stumbled upon a snickerdoodle recipe.  This was a cookie that was not anyone else's specialty at the market and it seemed to be an easy recipe with ingredients I already have on hand.  I made them enough to build a following, and now they are one of my specialties.

1 cup margarine or butter 
(in most of my recipes I lean toward using butter, but in this one sometimes using only butter makes the batter too runny--I usually do a stick of each)
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
a couple shakes of salt
2 Tb sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon (approximately) to roll cookies in prior to baking

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cream together wet ingredients.  Blend in dry ingredients.  Shape dough by rounded teaspoons into balls.  Combine the 2 Tb sugar and cinnamon.  Roll balls in mixture and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Remove from baking sheet immediately.  Enjoy with a glass of milk.


  1. thanks for finding my blog...yours is amazing. i am NOT a baker, or anything Martha Stewart related...will be reading regularly and hoping to be inspired!

  2. & they are soooooooooo good!!

    I remember making snickerdoodles w/a cousin in high school & we messed something up so bad that we broke a wooden spoon trying to mix it LOL ahhhh great memories :)