I work in a library, and we are allowed to order in books. A while ago, I was undertaking my customary Amazon browse for new crafty and/or baking books, and I came aross Tea with Bea, the Beas of Bloomsbury cookbook. Oh, hello beautiful cover! That was enough to snare me, really. I ordered it and a month later it was in my happy little hands.
I was really, really not disappointed, and nine months on I still hold the book to ransom (on extended loan, of course). I’ve marked the pages of the recipes I want to make, and let me tell you, there are a lot of yellow post-its sticking out of the top of this book. I started at the beginning, missing only the first recipe (ultimate chocolate chip cookies – don’t worry, they’ve been marked) in favour of the tantalisingly-named Snickerdoodles.
I had heard of these unassuming little biscuits, but never before tasted one. The recipe is brilliantly simple, so I had a go at them in preparation for knitting club at my house. They were delicious: delicate, vanilla-y biscuits, with a wonderful coating of cinnamon sugar. These are unassuming little guys, but man are they moreish. The amount of cinnamon and sugar stated in the recipe for dipping made quite a lot more than I needed, so I ended up with a jar of it left over. But that can only be a good thing because now I have no excuse not to make these delicious biscuits again.
And as with all great biscuits, they inspire terrible puns: why not approach your friends, proffering a plate of them, and say “Hands up. You’re snicked.” And you know what? They really will be.
225g (8oz) unsalted butter, softened
315g (11oz) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
350g (12oz) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
300g (10oz) caster sugar
– Using an electric mixer or whisk, beat the butter and sugar together until the mixture turns almost white in colour and is light and fluffy.
– Slowly incorporate the eggs, one at a time. Scrape the batter from the side of the bowl and beat for another minute. Add the vanilla extract and mix.
– Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. With the mixer on slow speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Beat until just combined and a dough forms. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
– Meanwhile, mix the cinnamon and sugar (for dipping) in a shallow bowl.
– Preheat the oven to 160°C/315°F/Gas mark 4 and line two baking sheets with baking paper.
– Pull off pieces of dough the size of golf balls and roll into neat balls with your hands. Slightly flatten each ball into a disc with the palm of your hand and dip each one thoroughly in the cinnamon sugar. Place on the prepared baking sheets, spaced apart.
– Bake in the preheated oven for 13-16 minutes until the edges are slightly golden and the tops look dry and matt.
– Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes. Transfer the snickerdoodles to a wire rack and let rest until ready to eat.