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What happened to my cookies?

Deconstructing a Snickerdoodle recipe to avoid pitfalls and achieve the perfect cookie.

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We ended up taking out the cookies on the slight side of underdone to try and avoid the other cause of dryness besides too much flour: overbaking. The cookies were fine when we took them out of the oven but we left them on the hot cookie sheet while we focused on another batch of dough. I had forgotten one basic rule of cookie making: Cookies will continue to bake on a hot cookie sheet even after they're out of the oven. Subsequently, the first batch we had left on the cookie sheet baked up a little more than I would've recommended. Easy remedy to that is to leave them on the cookie sheet for only a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.

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The Pastry Chef’s Baking

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The basic nature of a snickerdoodle is they tend to be more cakey and not have a chewy-dense-moist texture like a chocolate chip cookie. It's not to say they're automatically more dry than a chocolate chip cookie but you do have to factor in the type of cookie you're making as well in order to gauge its success. We ended up with a batch Karen was happy with and she was assured her cookie making skills were fine.

From "The Magnolia Bakery" by Jennifer Appel and Allysa Torey

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons cinnamon for sprinkling

In a small bowl, combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla and beat well. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. (I recommend leaving extra room between these cookies because they spread more than most.) Sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake for 12-14 minutes.

Cool the cookies on the sheets for 5 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Related post: Baking Tips

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