The following “Chew This!” column originally appeared in “The Courier-Times” and / or “The Shelbyville News”. Check their websites for further information and dates.
Snickerdoodle Squares, Sure to Please
I know, I share a lot of cookie recipes, but I have to admit that they are my weakness and judging by how many hits my website gets when I post a new cookie recipe, the same can be said for most of you! Ha! Actually, at one time, about a little over a year ago, I thought about publishing a third cookbook all about cookies, bars and brownies. That idea though was put on the backburner around the time of the COVID-19 pandemic and never really picked back up. Also on the backburner at the time was my own YouTube channel and some type of a digital newsletter to go along with my website and blog. I may pick up those ideas later but right now just does not feel like the right time to work on or release any such product or service. I will though say that, during the pandemic, you would not believe the number of recipes I tested. Hundreds and no, not all of them were cookies! I found myself trying to turn myself away from the constant news situation and find a place of calmness and in that I found the kitchen.
This recipe was created during the pandemic when I wanted Snickerdoodles but was feeling extra lazy and did not want to dollop out 38 tablespoon size dough balls. True story. So, I came out with a recipe that is basically a bar cookie with the volume turned up. There is ground cinnamon in the batter as well as sprinkled on top in the form of cinnamon-sugar. This recipe is so versatile that you could really add a variety of things to the batter and it will turn out perfectly. I have added white chocolate chips and pecans to the batter, and I have also added butterscotch chips and walnuts and both versions are fabulous to say the least. You could also take the finished cut bars, place them into the freezer for about 2 hours, remove them and cut them into small bite size pieces and stir them into your favorite vanilla ice cream. I will not confirm or deny that I have tried this method but believe me when I say the flavor and texture combinations are that perfect hit of smooth, chewy and flavorful. I love this cookie recipe!
These are best served chilled, straight from the refrigerator. Not only do they cut better but taste better too.
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups white all-purpose flour
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.
In a large bowl cream together the melted unsalted butter with the light brown sugar.
Beat in the large eggs and pure vanilla extract.
Add in the baking powder, ground cinnamon, salt and baking soda and mix until combined.
Fold in the white all-purpose flour.
Pour into prepared pan and smooth out the top evenly.
Sprinkle evenly, on top, a mixture of 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes.
Remove and allow to cool completely before cutting, serving and enjoying.
Ask and Answer: Reader, Kevin Lee, wanted to know exactly what “reserve pasta water” was in my previous column for “Pasta Fagioli”. In the recipe, it states to reserve 4 cups of the pasta water. However, depending on your preference for soup, you may need more or less. If you like a slightly thicker soup, add less. If you like a slightly thinner soup, by all means use more. Generally, I save all of my pasta water as a reserve and then throw out what I do not use.