Thursday, May 22, 2014

Best Snickerdoodle Cookies Ever


The Fox59 Morning News show always likes to mention what special "holiday" it is. For example, earlier this week it was Be a Millionaire Day and Pick Strawberries Day. In fact, if you Google “Bizarre Holidays” you can find a special day for every single day of the year.

So what’s today’s special holiday? National Vanilla Pudding Day.

For some people, vanilla pudding may seem like a rather bland treat to celebrate. And in the past I would have agreed.  That is until recently when I discovered the magic that happens when you put pudding mix in cookies.

I’ve seen pudding cookie recipes floating around the internet the past couple of months. But I never understood what the big deal was. So I did some research to figure out what exactly the purpose is for adding vanilla pudding mix to a cookie recipe.

Brief Lesson in the Science Behind Pudding Cookies
I found out that one of the main ingredients in pudding mix is cornstarch. In cookie recipes, cornstarch reduces the spread of the cookies making them thicker and more cake-like. However, if you don’t use the right amount of cornstarch in a recipe, it can give your cookies a funky taste. That’s where pudding mix comes to the rescue! A 3.4 ounce box has the exact amount of cornstarch to prevent your cookies from flattening out, and you don’t have to worry about tainting the taste!

So the first vanilla pudding cookie recipe I chose to make was snickerdoodles. I love a good, cakey snickerdoodle and I thought the recipe could benefit from a boost of vanilla flavoring. I used my mother’s standard snickerdoodle recipe, and the only changes I made were omitting ¼ cup of flour and adding the vanilla pudding mix to the batter.

The result – absolutely incredible! The snickerdoodles came out of the oven like fluffy pillows of cinnamon sugar. Our meteorologist Brian Wilkes said they were the softest cookies he’s ever had. Even days later, they still taste like I’ve just pulled them out of the oven. Not to mention, the vanilla pudding gives them extra vanilla flavoring!

SNICKERDOODLE VANILLA PUDDING COOKIES
Makes about 16 cookies

INGREDIENTS
·         1/2 cup butter, room temperature
·         1/2 cup vegetable shortening
·         1/2 cup sugar
·         1/2 cup powdered sugar
·         1 egg
·         2 teaspoons vanilla extract
·         1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix, dry and unprepared
·         2 cups flour
·         1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
·         1/2 teaspoon baking soda
·         1/4 cup sugar
·         2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS
1.       Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.       In a large bowl cream the butter, shortening and both sugars until light and fluffy (about 1 minute).
3.       Beat in the egg, vanilla and dry pudding mix.
4.       In a separate bowl combine the flour, cream of tartar and baking soda
5.       Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat until just combined.
6.       In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar & the cinnamon.
7.       Roll the dough into tablespoon-sized balls.
8.       Roll the balls into the cinnamon sugar mixture until well coated and then place the dough onto the baking sheets.
9.       Bake for 10 minutes.
10.    Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.

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