Kramer and I had a really nice weekend; most of our holiday shopping was done last week, so we were able to go up to New Rochelle to visit Kramer’s family. They only live a short train ride away, but it’s always hard to coordinate our schedules. Either way, his aunt made a big, delicious dinner of Caesar salad, caprese salad (my favorite thing ever), garlic bread, and seafood pasta with shrimp and scallops and we had a chance to have some drinks and catch up. I’m still thinking about that seafood pasta, Beth! It was so good. There were also another one of my favorites, black and white cookies – we always eat like kings up in New Rochelle and you can’t ask for anything more! We also got to see Kramer’s grandmother’s new apartment, which is huge compared to ours in Brooklyn, and it seems that she has quite a busy social life in her new place – she probably goes out more than we do! On Saturday morning, Beth took us to Home Goods, which Kramer and I love because of all the plates, linens, and other photography props that you can buy there. Kramer went a little nuts running around the store, but we didn’t spend too much despite that and got some really cool stuff, which I am sure you’ll be seeing on here soon enough. After another train ride back into the city, Kramer and I did the last of our holiday shopping in Williamsburg, hitting up our favorite spots like Whisk, MeMe Antenna, and Trojanowski Liquor, which carries lots of locally made liquor and some harder to find bottles, so it’s always especially fun to wander around there. Saturday night we headed over to my good friend Emily’s apartment for her holiday party – we went to preschool together in Chicago, believe it or not, and we both ended up living in the city. It’s so much fun to see her and to be able to reconnect. The party was great, and Kramer and I went home absolutely exhausted. Sunday morning we did a bit of cleaning; Kramer did a great job reorganizing our drawers and closets while I scrubbed down the kitchen, then we met up with some friends at Social Eatz for burgers and beers, then tried to see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol in IMAX, but of course it was sold out, so we ended up just hanging out, watching holiday themed Simpsons episodes and, of course, having a few more beers. It was so hard to wake up this morning because I really did have such a great weekend, but my parents, brothers, aunt, uncle, and cousin get into town later this week to visit for the holidays, so I’m just looking forward to that.
Now, onto what is most important: snickerdoodles. I love snickerdoodles; they couldn’t be easier to make, you don’t have to decorate them, and absolutely everybody loves them. It may be the name or the sparkling cinnamon-sugar coating; either way, everyone’s faces always light up when you tell them that you’ve made snickerdoodles. I use cream cheese in my snickerdoodles, which can easily be replaced with sour cream or creme fraiche, but I love the slight sweetness with a little bit of tang that comes with using the cream cheese, along with a healthy scoop of cream of tartar and a splash of cider vinegar. I think that it helps to balance out the cinnamon-sugar and makes for an especially tasty little cookie. Kramer and I made over 100 of these for his and my offices, along with our Speculoos cookies, and wrapped them up in cute little packages. It was a lot of work, but totally worth it and certainly put me in the holiday spirit! The best part about these cookies is that the dough can be made a day in advance, to help cut down on your work load, and the cookies ship well and freeze beautifully. Happy baking!
Combine your dry ingredients.
Beat together your butter, shortening, and cream cheese.
Add in your eggs, vanilla extract, and apple cider vinegar.
Gradually mix in your dry ingredients.
Roll your dough into balls and then roll in your cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake at 375 degrees F for 11-13 minutes, until golden.
I made a lot of cookies.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2½ teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cubed and room temperature
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ¼ cup plain cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1¾ teaspoons vanilla
- 1⅔ cup sugar
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- dash of cloves (optional)
- ¾ cup raw sugar or granulated sugar (I like the larger sugar crystals from the raw sugar, but granulated works well, too)
- 3 tablespoons cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, shortening, and cream cheese until creamy, then beat in the granulated sugar, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add in the eggs, then the vanilla, then the apple cider vinegar, and beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Gradually add in the flour mixture and beat until just moistened. At the point, you can cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours (as I did), or you can bake them right away.
- Roll the dough out into balls, either with your hands, into a 2 tablespoon sized ball, or with a #40 ice cream scooper. Combine your additional granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, then roll the balls of dough in the sugar, being sure that it sticks well. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart, and bake for 11-13 minutes, until set and just golden on the edges. Allow to cool a bit on the baking sheets before removing to cool on another surface. These will store well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
- *This dough can be made the night before and refrigerated for 24 hours.