Photo credit: Theresa Raffetto/StockFood
"Why’s it called a snickerdoodle?" actor Chris Pratt cyber-wondered on Twitter last week. “And who’s the person who came up with that name?”
Pratt went on to use some colorful language, so we gather that the Guardians of the Galaxy star isn’t a fan of the name. A bit too froufrou for your tastes, Chris?
Well, one guess at the treat’s beginnings sound fairly down-to-earth: The late New York Times critic Craig Claiborne thought the word might be “of German origin and derived from the word ‘schnecken,’” a variety of sticky buns from that country.
Granted, Pratt may be onto something: Food historian John F. Mariani posits that the cookie’s name derives from New England and is “simply a nineteenth-century nonsense word" dating in print to 1889.
We may never know the truth. But Chris, if you’re up for some baking—we have a feeling you might be from your Top Chef appearance—give this classic snickerdoodle recipe from country singer and Food Network star Trisha Yearwood a whirl. Claiborne once recalled a rich version of the cookie from Tennessee, and Yearwood’s recipe hails from Georgia via Oklahoma.
by Trisha Yearwood
Makes 4 to 5 dozen
½ cup salted butter
½ cup vegetable shortening
1 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 medium eggs
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine the butter, shortening, 1 ½ cups sugar, and the eggs and mix thoroughly. Sift together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt, and stir into shortening mixture.
In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with the cinnamon. Shape the dough into 1 ½-inch balls and roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar. Arrange the dough balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the cookies to wire racks for cooling. Store in an airtight container.
Reprinted from the book Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen by Trisha Yearwood. Copyright ©2008 by Trisha Yearwood. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a Penguin Random House Company.
Any Trisha Yearwood fans? What’s your favorite recipe from Trisha’s Southern Kitchen?