March 2007

We had a long discussion at work about cookies and in particular, Snickerdoodles.

I had never baked them, but found a good sounding recipe in King Arthur Flour Cookie Compendium and gave them a shot this morning. They turned out very nice. Crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. I’ll be making these again.

1/2 cup (92g) vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick, 113g) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup (298g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups (326g) unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (99g) sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
  2. To make dough: in a medium-sized bowl, cream together the shortening, butter, sugar, vanilla, and baking powder, beating until smooth. Add the eggs, again beating until smooth, stopping to scrape the bowl once. Add the flour and salt, mixing slowly until combined.
  3. To make coating: Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a shallow bowl (or in a large plastic bag).
  4. Using a cookie scoop or your fingers, dip out 1 level tablespoon of dough (a teaspoon cookie scoop, generously filled, works well) and roll it into a ball. Place the ball of dough in the bowl or bag of cinnamon sugar. When you’ve got 5 or 6 dough balls in the sugar, gently shake them until completely covered. Place them on the prepared baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Using the bottom of a glass, flatten each cookie to about 1/2 inch thickness. Repeat with remaining dough.
  5. Bake for 8 minutes, or until they are golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack for cooling.

Recipe says the yield was 7 dozen, but I was only able to get about 4 dozen cookies. I probably was making too large balls of dough. 8 minutes worked out perfectly for my oven.


I had a couple of *very* ripe bananas lying around and a recipe I wanted to try.

Banana bread turned out delicious. Really nothing special, but it is so tasty with very ripe bananas. Be gentle with mixing of the flour. Just enough to incorporate.

Greasing and flouring only the bottom of a regular loaf pan causes the bread to cling to the sides and rise higher. If using a nonstick loaf pan, on which the sides are very slick, grease and flour sides as well as the bottom.

I’ve begun to use a scale to weigh out dry (and sometimes wet, yogurt in this case) ingredients, so gram weights included. I skipped the walnuts this time.

Makes one 9-inch loaf
2 cups (200g) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (143g) granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 1/4 cups (115g) toasted walnuts , chopped coarse (about 1 cup)
3 very ripe bananas , soft, darkly speckled, mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup (63g) plain yogurt
2 large eggs , beaten lightly
6 tablespoons (88g) unsalted butter , melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of regular loaf pan, or grease and flour bottom and sides of nonstick 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. Combine first five ingredients together in large bowl; set aside.

2. Mix mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with wooden spoon in medium bowl. Lightly fold banana mixture into dry ingredients with rubber spatula until just combined and batter looks thick and chunky. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan; bake until loaf is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.