See my favourite recipe for snickerdoodles here …
Cookies sometimes get a bad rap. We all love to eat them, but not everyone loves to make them. Compared to loaves, brownies and muffins, cookies demand time and attention. This is precisely why I love making them. Cookies remind us to slow down and get our hands dirty. As we roll them into balls, drop them off spoons, and shake them from their cutters, we are given the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of a single cookie and the generous work our hands permit us to undertake.
Snickerdoodles have long been one of my favourite cookies to make. It is surprisingly satisfying to shape them into tiny balls, roll them in cinnamon and sugar, and press pecan halves into their centres. They deliver simplified elegance and require little talent or technique.
When I was three years old and my mother was feeling unwell in the early stages of her pregnancy with my sister, I spent weekday afternoons at my grandparents’ house while my father was at work. My grandmother and I passed many of these afternoons in the kitchen. We baked cookies, cakes, and loaves and often had a surprise for my father when he came to take me home after work. Our creations were rarely surprises as I was often overcome with the desire to announce our efforts as soon as my Dad came through the door. He never failed to act surprised and I learned from an early age that food was something to be celebrated.
I no longer bake most of the treats that I came to love in my grandmother’s kitchen. Taste preferences and dietary needs often shift as we grow older, but her early lessons continue to shape my cooking and eating by reminding me that food demands time, care and attention. My grandmother taught me that sometimes simple food is just what you need and that a well-timed culinary surprise can bring delight to others.
Although it is unlikely that my grandmother would recognize many of the ingredients that stock my gluten-free, mostly vegetarian kitchen, I like to think that she would feel at home here making a cup of tea and wondering what we might have for dessert.
Flourless chocolate cake would certainly be on the menu.