Monday, November 03, 2008
Chewy Cinnamon Cookies
I've been anxious to post these cookies for a while, namely because I'm afraid I'll lose the recipe and have to stop making them. That would be a tragedy.
My sister told me a couple of weeks ago that she prefers her cookies not to have chocolate in them. I was shocked. Really, are there more people like this out there? Unless you have a natural aversion or allergic reaction to chocolate, this is something I don't really understand. Well, I can understand it to a degree, I suppose, because I prefer taking bites or chocolate chip cookie dough without chunks of chocolate in it. And I really, really like these cookies. So I'm starting to get it.
About seven years ago (holy cow! how time flies!) when we lived in Ann Arbor I first tasted Carol's Cookies. If you live within purchasing distance, I recommend you try them. Anyhow, my favorite by far was the cinnamon swirl. I've never been a snickerdoodle fan, though at least for part of my childhood they were my sister's favorite. I'm not a fan of the cream of tartar – who really is? – and there wasn't nearly enough cinnamon on there. Carol solved those problems for me. No cream of tartar (at least none I could taste), and lots of cinnamon. Plus the cookie was thick, so it was nice and golden on the outside but still moist and chewy on the inside. I loved them.
After we moved to California, there was no way to have Carol's cinnamon swirl cookies anymore except by mail order, which was too expensive for me. But I never forgot them. I actually started trying to figure out how to make really wonderful cinnamon cookies about halfway through my brownies project, but it wasn't until I'd made the Jacques Torres chocolate chip cookies a few times that I realized I might be able to get the cookie I want. To me, cookies always needed to mixed by hand. If you beat them in the KitchenAid, you'd whip too much air into them and they'd fall flat on the cookie sheet. What I learned from this recipe is that you should whip them a good long time, creaming the butter and sugar, and then refrigerate them. This helps in two ways: 1. a higher butter content in the dough which means more flavor, and 2. baked from a cold temperature keeps them from falling flat; they have just the right amount of height for me (not way huge like a Carol's cookie, though).
So I took the chocolate chip cookie recipe and tweaked it a bit. I like a good amount of brown sugar with cinnamon, and a couple of other things here and there. I didn't want the flavor to fall flat, either, so I top the unbaked balls of dough with a generous shake of cinnamon and sugar.
Also they won a neighborhood dessert contest when served with drinking chocolate, so I'm not the only one who likes them.
They're very good. You should try them.
for a printable version of this recipe, click here
Chewy Cinnamon Cookies
2 c. + 2 T. (8 1/2 oz.) cake flour
1 3/4 c. + 2 T. (8 1/2 oz.) bread flour
1 1/4 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. Kosher salt
1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 c. (5 1/2 oz.) granulated sugar
1 3/4 c. (12 1/2 oz.) light brown sugar
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, cream the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon together on medium high for 5 minutes, until very light and fluffy. Mix in eggs, one at a time, and then vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined.
Cover at surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate at the very least 4 hours, but preferably 24 hours before baking.
To make the cinnamon-sugar topping, combine 1 t. cinnamon for every 1/4 c. sugar.
To bake, preheat the oven to 350˚. Place a silpat or parchment paper on a large baking sheet. Place 8 2-oz. rounds (2 1/2 - 3 T.) on a baking sheet. Sprinkle each ball heavily with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake 18-19 minutes, until golden brown but still slightly moist on inside. Cool 5-10 minutes on sheet, them cool completely on a wire rack.
The unbaked dough will keep in the refrigerator up to 72 hours (if you keep it well hidden).