Greetings from sunny, sunny Los Angeles! I know, I know, I literally just got back from Turkey a few days ago and here I am on the road again. I’m here for a work trip, but there’s fun involved too: I’m staying in the heart of Hollywood and am going to have dinner with some of my favorite Angeleno blogger babes. Then Alana and I are going to Harry Potter Land (okay, I think it’s technically called The Wizarding World of Harry Potter but that’s too much of a mouthful so Harry Potter Land it is)!!! I’m SO excited. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that I’m sort of a closet Harry Potter nerd and spend a lot of time spamming my friends with Harry Potter memes. But more on that later — because we’re going soon, so be sure to follow along on Instagram Stories!
Also, even though I’ll only be here until Friday, send me all your best recs. Where do I eat? What do I do? Let me know!
Now let’s move on to these cookies. While fighting jet lag, I found myself flipping through my camera at 4AM and realized I’d shot these cookies a few weeks ago but never blogged about them. One of the unexpected side effects of writing a cookbook is that I stumbled upon some really cool recipes when researching and developing my own version. This is one of them — this is a snickerdoodle recipe is from Cookie Love, and creates the most buttery and chewy cookie there is. I don’t know what it is, but I suspect that it’s because the pastry chef substitutes a teeny tiny amount of the granulated sugar in the recipe with brown sugar, adding extra moistness and caramelization.
While I was up to my elbows in snickerdoodle recipes, however, I discovered something a little disconcerting: I am maybe not the biggest fan of cinnamon? Although I loved the sugar cookie base, I much preferred the cookies without any coating at all. I am just not a cinnamon girl, I guess, which is weird because I love Cinnamon Toast Crunch. But my solution was to substitute the cinnamon with other spices and flavors like freeze-dried fruit. So consider this a sneak preview of snickerdoodle magic from Weeknight Baking Book: spiked with fresh lemon zest and rolled in freeze-dried raspberries, this is a Modern Snickerdoodle for the Millennial. Enjoy!
- Freeze-dried raspberries are basically raspberries that have been dehydrated; they retain all of the flavor and color of the fruit, but none of the moisture. I like to think of them as “fruit MSG” for bakes. You can buy bags online, Whole Foods, or at Trader Joe’s (which also sells freeze-dried blueberries and strawberries).
- You’ll notice that this recipe uses cream of tartar — when researching snickerdoodles, I learned that cream of tartar is the ingredient that actually distinguishes snickerdoodles from traditional sugar cookies. Cream of tartar is slightly more acidic than traditional leaveners, giving snickerdoodles a mild tang, and also prevents the sugar from crystalizing fully, giving the cookies their tender chew.
Raspberry Lemon Snickerdoodles
- Special Equipment: a food processor
For the Raspberry Sugar Coating
- 1/4 cup (1.75 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons "heaping" freeze-dried raspberries (see baker's notes)
For the Snickerdoodles
- 1 1/2 cups minus 1 tablespoon (10.20 ounces) granulated sugar (see baker's notes)
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- fresh zest from a medium lemon
- 2 3/4 cups (12.35 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar (see baker's notes)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
For the Raspberry Sugar Coating
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons freeze-dried raspberries. Pulse for a few seconds at a time, until the mixture is homogeneous and fragrant. Transfer to a shallow bowl and set aside.
For the Snickerdoodles
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 400 (F). Prepare two sheet pans by lining with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups minus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, and fresh zest from a medium lemon. Use your fingers to toss the ingredients together until combined, and rub the zest into the sugar until it starts to clump and smell fragrant — this helps release oils from the zest that infuse the sugar and makes your cookies tastier. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Whisk until well combined and set aside.
- In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 1 cup unsalted butter and the sugars from the 2nd step. Beat on medium-high speed for about 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to its slowest setting and add 2 large eggs, one at a time, only adding the next egg when the previous one is fully incorporated. Add 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract. Once incorporated, stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer back on to its lowest setting and gradually add the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined.
- Use a 3-tablespoon cookie dough scoop to measure out cookie dough balls and place them on the lined sheet pans at least 3 inches apart. Before baking, roll each cookie dough ball in the Raspberry Sugar Coating and transfer back to the sheet pans. Transfer one sheet pan to the preheated oven and bake for at least 10 minutes, until the edges are set but the centers are puffed and gooey. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes, before using a metal spatula to turn each cookie out onto the rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining tray.