Monday, July 2, 2018
Rant: Snickerdoodle, The Best Cookie In The World!
Well, that is all actually hyperbole. I couldn't say what was the Best Cookie unless I had tasted all of the possible options. And in this matter, "Best" is really a subjective term. How do you compare different cookies to determine which is better? There are no objective guidelines and it all comes down to personal preference. The same applies to all foods, so I'm not a huge fan of "Best" compilations because they don't really judge what they say they do. Such lists are based on the personal preferences and biases of those who compose the lists.
However, I am a big fan of Snickerdoodles. The origins of this cookie are ambiguous, with some believing it has a German or Dutch origin, and others believing it originated in New England. It is alleged that the oldest known recipes date back to New England in 1889. In The Home-Maker, Vol.2, April to September 1889, an illustrated monthly magazine edited by Marion Harland, there is a section labeled "Choice Recipes" and you'll find a Snickerdoodles recipe. The ingredients include 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of butter, 2 cups of sugar, 1 cup of milk, 3 cups of flour, 2 teaspoonfuls cream tartar, 1 teaspoonful soda, and 1/2 teaspoonful of salt.
I also found a 1891 reference in the Morning Journal and Courier (Connecticut), August 28, 1891. It provided a recipe for Snickerdoodles that included the following ingredients: 1/2 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 2 eggs, 1 cup milk, 3 cups flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 level teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 3 teaspoons powdered sugar. Note that this recipe didn't include cream of tartar. The Plymouth Tribune (Indiana), November 28, 1901 provided another recipe, but it did include cream of tartar. The article also stated, "Snickerdoodles is the somewhat fantastic name of quickly made little cakes especially dear to the children's heart."
The use of cream of tartar helps to differentiate the Snickerdoodle from a basic Sugar cookie. This ingredient helps make the Snickerdoodle more chewy, rather than crunchy like most Sugar cookies. In addition, it provides a certain tangy flavor to the Snickerdoodle.
Locally, my favorite Snickerdoodles are made by the Quebrada Baking Co., with locations in Arlington, Belmont and Wellesley. I've tasted them from all three locations and they have been of equal quality. Their Snickerdoodles have a slightly crunchy perimeter with a soft and chewy interior., and just a perfect dusting of sugar and cinnamon on top. Each bite of such a cookie is pure bliss to me. I enjoyed some last week as my travels took me to Belmont.
So, Snickerdoodles might not be the Best cookie in the world, but they are certainly one of the best. And I highly recommend you check out the Snickerdoodles at Quebrada to sample what I think are the best I've ever tasted. Have you tasted their Snickerdoodles? If so, what do you think?