Tuesday 10 June 2008

I feel a bit ill from the raw biscuit dough I've just been eating. For my first writing challenge, suggested by Kent, to write about the snickerdoodle biscuit* (snickerdoodle doo!), I decided that writing about them was difficult when I had never had one. Write what you know, many writing books suggest, and while it is true that I know what biscuits in general taste like, I wanted to know what Snickerdoodles in particular tasted like. That whole write what you know thing - well, if you only wrote what you knew, how dull would our fiction be? It would all be about washing socks and cleaning the grouting of the shower and stuff. What, you say? I should get out more? Yea, I should and I shall. I also shall clean the grouting of the shower before I do. And speaking of fiction, I'm gearing up to write some again. It's been a long and lonely 13 months since I last wrote any. My art therapy definitely seems to be working :)

Anyway. I did doth digress. According to the only place we glean our information from these days, Wikipedia, here are a few bits and pieces about our humble Snickerdoodle:

The origin of the name “Snyckerdoodle” has given rise to many theories but few facts. The Joy of Cooking claims that snickerdoodles are probably German in origin, and that the name is a corruption of the German word for "snail dumpling" (Schneckennudeln, or cinnamon-dusted sweet rolls).[citation needed] Similarly, one author states that “the word `snicker' may have come from a Dutch word `snekrad,' or the German word `Schnecke,` both describing a snail-like shape.”[1] However, another author believes the name came from a New England tradition of fanciful, whimsical cookie names,[2] and yet another cites a series of tall tales around a hero named Snickerdoodle from the early 1900s.
Fascinating. Now, I'm not sure which recipe Kent's Mum used to make these biscuits that got him all dribbling out the side of his mouth in anticipation while chowing down on his steamed asparagus, but this is the one I used.

Before I started making the biscuits, I needed to go to the supermarket to get some sugar. When I got back and got started, I realised I didn't have any baking powder. Oh well. Not going back up the shop again. This is ridiculous anyway, baking biscuits at 10.30 at night. So instead of going back up the shop, I did a bit of substitution. That should work, right?

It was difficult rolling the pastry into a ball with my hands. Very messy, but I do love getting my hands dirty. And then rolling them into the cinnamon and sugar mixture to coat them made it a bit easier to form them into some sort of ball shape. The recipe said to keep a 2 inch distance between each biscuit to allow for rising. So I did. Kind of. Give or take an inch or 2.

Popped in the oven. Now, this oven's handle and fascia fell off a few weeks ago, right while I was in the middle of cooking a roast. Nigel, my friendly neighbourhood landlord and fix-it man managed to put it all back together. But that's okay. Shouldn't affect the oven. She's an old beastie, and she's always been about 20 degrees out, but that's okay. The roast I cooked in it a few weeks ago was primo. Temperature calls for 190 degrees? No wuckers. I'll bung it on 210.

Well. Perhaps it was the substituted baking powder. Perhaps the different flour I used. Perhaps the oven. I'm glad, really, that I ate so much biscuit dough. 'Cause I aint gonna be eating any biscuits. Those bastards needed a shot of viagra, 'cause they never quite made it up. Even though, by God, they expanded out sideways.

Sheesh, look how grotty the stovetop is in that photo! And how large my nostrils are in this one! You could hide a family of 4 up there. I wish I'd brushed my hair before I took this photo. I look like I'm developing a comb-over. And I wish I'd cleaned the stove. Apart from that, I'm fine with these photos :) (I can't be too mean to myself, in the hour of my failed snickerdoodling grief). Unfortunately no, my eyes are not that lovely shade of blue, but a somewhat more darker, grottier shade.

So anyway, in summary. Snickerdoodles sure smell nice when they're baking. All that cinnamon. Such a delightful smell (and, I will add, burning a stick of cinnamon along with a handful of cloves in boiling water on the stove is the most sensational of air fresheners). Snickerdoodles also taste nice raw. I can only imagine they would probably taste pretty good cooked, too.

Next time :)

* Biscuit = cookie for you Northerner folks.


  1. Oh dear! hehe, poor Susie! I think you kinda made a snickerdoodle omletty thing.
    But I know the oven (broken and all) did cook a lovely roast, so maybe it was the baking powder substitution?
    anyway, now you have something to write about, snickerdoodle trauma

  2. The picture and recipe you linked to at least look right. It was a funny piece that you wrote based upon the level of annoying laughter my family had to endure while I was reading it. So in that case it was successful if it was humor you were hoping for.

    But I do have one complaint. In the second to last paragraph you did slip back into it being about you, but recoved with the ending. As for the first attempt of trying to move away from that, I'd give you a good grade.

  3. I really don't know, Andi, what it was. But I think my Snickerdoodling days are over, at least for a while. I still feel a bit sick from eating so much raw dough :)

    Kent - I'm glad I made your people laugh :) And yes, I know, it became all about me again but you know, old habits die hard :)

    Repeat. it's not about you. It's not about you. It's not about you. It's about the snickerdoodle doo.

  4. the dough really is the best part. nice research & presentation...staying on topic?...hmmm...this is YOUR blog, not the snickerdoodle's. and by the way, where did you get the term biscuit from? is that aussie for cookie?

  5. Repeat. it's not about you. It's not about you. It's not about you. It's about the snickerdoodle doo.

    another outburst of laughter. Julie got a laugh out of this today also.

  6. Lucy - I wonder if there are any snickerdoodle blogs? Poor things, they don't really get much of a say in their own right, do they?

    I'm trying to write stuff lately where I am not so much the starring role - those last few paras were off-topic but I couldnt resist :)

    Biscuit - English origin, I think. Yes, I mean cookie :)

  7. Why didn't you just say "cookie" then? ;-)

    Good write up, especially for something you have never had before. Glad you liked the dough, anyhow. Kudos to you for trying, but the lack of baking powder may have made a difference, ya know? Hehe.

    I don't like snickerdoodles. In order for a cookie (or biscuit) to be any good, it HAS to have chocolate in it.

  8. Okay then, my dear little Imperialist :) Cookie.

    No, sorry, I feel all dirty. It's a fucking biscuit, alright ;)

    Well, I actually used instead of baking powder, something which should have done the same thing, a combo of baking soda, plus rice flour, plus cream of tartar. But it didn't work.

    Yes. Everything should have chocolate smeared on it :) Especially 80% cocoa chocolate (the hard core shit. I mainline it)


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