What’s Cookin’ at Callie’s Cabin: A comfort cookie for the soul
Ryan Summerlin November 29, 2012
Enter the sweet snickerdoodle or sugar cookie. It’s a popular cookie concocted with butter, sugar and flour rolled in a cinnamon-sugar mix to give it that spicy kick. These comfort cookies boast a cracked top. Snickerdoodles are characterized by a cracked surface and can be crisp or soft depending on preference. The simple snickerdoodle cookie, like a simple daisy, may have roots from Germany (derived from the German word schneckennudeln). While it may be a basic cookie from abroad, this week I welcomed these special comfort cookies with a special memory in my cabin on the South Shore to nourish my soul.While getting out the basic ingredients from my pantry, I got flashbacks of when I last enjoyed these whimsical cookies. A few years ago, dog trainer Guy Yeamen paid me a visit. His mission was to help teach my two Brittanys how to walk like show dogs, not pull. What’s more, he taught my late Seth how to jog on the treadmill. Sethie, a sweet-loving, energetic dog looked up at his trainer as though he was The Dog Whisperer, a calm, assertive guru. My fur child smiled. A lot. He was born to please. He was in the zone and I was a proud mom. After the doggie workout, I made snickerdoodles. That night, sitting by a crackling fire, sipping herbal tea teamed with a couple of cookies and two warmhearted dogs was bliss. It was a day and night to cherish. And snickerdoodles are a link to that perfect Sierra day.So, mid-week I forced myself to put a smile on my face, shower, get dressed, and go to the kitchen (I haven’t been there much lately) and whip up a batch of cookies that promised a blast from the past. Snickerdoodles are an inexpensive, versatile cookie to make. (You can add other spices, nuts, dried fruits.) The traditional cookie calls for shortening, white flour and white sugar. I compromised for the health of it.Whole-wheat Snickerdoodles1/2 cup European-style butter2 brown eggs1 cup granulated sugar1/2 cup brown sugar2 3/4 all-natural, whole-wheat flour1 teaspoon baking soda2 teaspoons cream of tartarSugar-cinnamon mixture1/4 cup raw sugar2 teaspoons ground cinnamonPreheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter and mix in sugar and eggs in a large bowl. Add flour and baking soda. Use a mixer to make the batter fluffy. Shape dough into balls. The size is up to you but keep it consistent. Roll each ball into the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes (the longer you bake, the crispier the cookie). Cool. Makes about 2 dozen. The aroma of the delicious blend of sugar and cinnamon warmed my kitchen — a place I usually love to go and create happiness. When you lose a two-legger or four-legger, often food is the last thing on your mind. But when I tasted one of these home-baked cookies I admit that it comforted me like hugging a familiar pooch. The crunch of the raw sugar was nice, and the whole-wheat flour kept it wholesome. These basic popular sugar cookies took me back in Tahoe time to a sweet day when I had two sweet-loving Brittanys. But now, I have one canine companion to love; I shared a piece of snickerdoodle with my beloved Simon to bring us a bit of joy. He smiled.Motto: Seize the day. You never know when something you love with your heart and soul can be gone forever. It’s best to nurture your ache-y breaky heart with something that reminds you of a happy time.— Cal Orey, M.A. is an author and journalist. Her books include “The Healing Powers” series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, and Coffee) published by Kensington. (The Healing Powers of Honey and Coffee are offered by the Good Cook Book Club.) “Animal Attraction: A Collection of Tales & Tails” will be released this fall. Her website is www.calorey.com.