Recipe: (Patriotic) spelt snickerdoodles

Dough in balls of red, white, and blue! Or pink, brown, and teal, as the case may be...
Dough in balls of red, white, and blue! Or pink, brown, and teal, as the case may be…

It’s the Fourth of July! And what cookies are more American than snickerdoodles? Well…chocolate chip cookies, for one…and since the word “snickerdoodle” may be German or Dutch in origin (according to one of the most American cookbooks ever, The Joy of Cooking), probably lots of others as well. Personally, I like to think of the name as part of the grand British and American tradition of ridiculous dessert names (see also: fluffernutter).

Post-baking: notice the crinkles. :)
Post-baking: notice the crinkles. 🙂

Anyway, snickerdoodles are definitely not British, so they seem pretty American to me right now. I decided to use up some of my spelt flour by bringing a red, white (well, brown) and blue (teal-ish) batch of spiced snickerdoodles to Churchill’s BBQ event today.

Traditional-looking, awesome-tasting snickerdoodles.
Traditional-looking, awesome-tasting snickerdoodles.

How did they turn out? Delicious, even though I slightly overbaked them, because I was worried about how soft they felt in the oven. Don’t worry, they firm up as they cool; that’s what the cooling time on the pan is for. I think the spices and the hearty wholegrain flavor of the flour complement each other, so they taste complex, rather than “healthy.” Oh, and the colors didn’t work out that well…but people appreciated the attempt.

Ready for the BBQ!
Ready for the BBQ!

Spelt Spiced Snickerdoodles

Yield: 3 dozen small cookies.

Adapted from: Cooking Light and Eating Well.

2 c spelt flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
3 tsp cinnamon, divided
3/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice (or nutmeg)
4 T butter, melted and cooled
scant 1 c light brown sugar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
~3 Tbsp demerara or granulated sugar, for rolling

Optional: red and blue food coloring

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, and remaining spices, stirring with a whisk or fork.

Combine light brown sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (or just use a spoon and stir for 2-3 minutes). Add honey, vanilla, and egg; mix well. Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, beating just until combined. Cover and chill for at least 10 minutes.

Patriotic variation: Before chilling, separate dough into three equal portions and place in separate bowls. Add red food coloring to one dough ball and mix until dough is uniformly your desired shade of red. Repeat with blue food coloring and one of the other two dough balls. Cover bowls and chill for at least 10 minutes.

Place racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 375 F/190 C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine demerara sugar and remaining cinnamon in a small bowl.

With moist hands, shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in sugar mixture. Place balls 2 inches apart onto lined baking sheets and flatten slightly. Bake for 7-9 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft). Cool on baking sheets for at least 2 minutes. Remove parchment paper and cookies from pans and let cool completely on wire racks.


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