27 August 2012

Stuffed Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles are my all time favorite cookie.  They turn me into a bonafide cookie monster, stuffing myself until I turn blue.  To this day, every time I make these cookies, I remember Saturday morning baking sessions with my Papa, rolling them around in the lovely cinnamon-y sugar.  To this day, I always add an extra pinch of cinnamon to....just about everything.

A while ago, I was inspired to try some caramel filled snickerdoodles by a recipe I found on Pinterest.  And let me tell you, they did not disappoint!  Best when hot out of the oven, but still delicious when cool, it's an extra treat inside the best cookie of all time.  After the extreme success of this variation, I began to ponder other stuffing ideas for this fantastically fillable cookie.  Why not add chocolate, dried fruit, marshmallow, pretzels or even some herbs?  And since I couldn't think of a single reason not to, I spend my Sunday snickerdoodling away.

So we have several options here.  First, the traditional Caramel and Rolo filled varieties....

Next, we introduce a little fruit to our chocolate with Bittersweet Chocolate Craisin and White Chocolate Apricot fillings....

And finally we finish with one for the hubs, Marshmallow Pretzel, as well as myself, Rosemary & Candied Ginger.  Sorry pups, none for you.

The hubs got to the Marshmallow Pretzel before I did, hence fewer cookies.

You might notice my little piles in the corner of each plate.  If you're a gambler, by all means just bake and enjoy as they come.  However, it's easy enough to keep them separate.  Just bake 1-2 types at once, and "label" them as soon as they come out.

I like food labels because you get to eat them later.  What a perk.

So here are some of my snickerdoodle stuffing inspirations, all delicious, delightful and divine when dunked, either in milk or in coffee.

Basic Snickerdoodle Recipe (courtesy of the Betty Crocker Cooky Book)

  • 1 c shortening (you can use part butter, but the cookie will be less flaky and more flat)
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 c all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 add'l tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.  Combine the shortening, sugar and eggs in a large bowl and mix together well before setting aside.  In a medium bowl, measure in the flour by sifting or dipping method (scooping with a spoon and gently tipping into the measuring cup before leveling off).  Add the cream of tartar, baking soda and salt and stir together.  Pull your big bowl back over and add the flour mixture, stirring together until combined.  In a small, shallow dish, add 2 tablespoons of sugar and the cinnamon,  Mix together well.  

Roll the cookies into 1 inch balls, then give them a roll through the cinnamon sugar until evenly coated.  Place about 2  to 2 1/2 inches apart on the baking sheet, depending on cookie size.  Bake for 8-10 minutes unstuffed, or 7-8 minutes stuffed.

Stuffings (about 4-6 cookies each)
  • Caramel - Make two extra small cookie balls.  Place the caramel between the two balls and gently pinch the sides together.  Roll into a ball and coat in cinnamon sugar.  (Helpful pictures below!)
  • Rolo - Same as the caramel...the mini ball method.
  • Bittersweet Chocolate & Craisin - Make a small cookie ball and push your thumb into it to create a small cookie bowl.  Fill with 3 chocolate chips and 3 Craisins.  Create a flat lid for your cookie bowl and place over the chocolate chips and fruit.  Gently pinch sides together and roll into a ball.  Coat with cinnamon and sugar.
  • White Chocolate & Apricot - Chop your apricots into small pieces.  Fill using the cookie bowl and lid method, same as the chocolate & Craisin variety.
  • Marshmallow Pretzel - Break or chop the pretzels into small pieces, about 1/4 inch in length, give or take.  Then "chop" your marshmallows, about 2 big or 8 minis.  (This is a very amusing task if you've never attempted.)  Fill using the bowl and lid method.  Substitute cocoa powder for cinnamon and roll in the cocoa sugar mixture.  Be sure to give these a bit of extra room on the tray, about 3 inches between each cookie.  They puff up a lot!
  • Candied Ginger & Rosemary - Chop candied ginger into small pieces and fill cookies using the bowl and lid method.  Prior to rolling cookies in cinnamon sugar, pre-roll in dried rosemary.  The cookie batter picks up the cinnamon sugar more easily than the rosemary, so the pre-roll is the best way to go.  Feel free to press a little to get as much rosemary as possible...they're hearty little cookies.
Rolling technique, for the image oriented.  First, place a little cookie ball on the bottom and top with your filling....

Top with a second cookie ball...a chapeau of sorts, if you will...

Pinch sides together and roll into a ball.  See the cinnamon sugary counterpart in the background.  So good!

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