Baking is a funny thing. When I talk to the kitchen-challenged folks I meet, just about all of them can still attest that they have a go-to baked good that they can whip up and bring to work/playground/pencil wholesaler (I don’t know how people spend their days!) without fear of poisoning someone. Sure, they are probably making a trusted boxed recipe, but who cares? They are reading instructions, whipping ingredients together, and baking something delicious. Maybe they are taking it up a notch and attempting something from scratch, which I will challenge you to do in a bit. (I almost said “in a bite.” That would have been cute.)
And yet, on the other end of the spectrum, baking can send a trained chef into cold sweats out of terror. Why? Because baking is delicate and temperamental. So many factors can effect a dessert: elevation, temperature, humidity, timing, over-stirring… not to mention what on Earth your oven has planned for your dish once you surrender it! So many possible things could go wrong that are out of human control when it comes to baking, which is why chefs, the control freaks that they are (and we love you guys for that!), tend to get a bit stressed when trying to impress someone with a chocolate souffle.
I share the craziness of baking for two reasons:
- So that when you read steps that seem a little tedious, you follow them anyway. Probably the most common steps in baking is to first mix all the wet ingredients together in one bowl, the dry ingredients in another bowl, then combine wet with dry slowly. Please don’t skip this step and dump everything into one bowl immediately. You will get gross, lumpy, uneven batter. Avoid this please.
- Be patient with yourself. If trained cooks can be nervous about baking goodies, cut yourself some slack. You will make a mess, you will have some “oops” moments. It happens. Let it go.
Okay, let’s get baking! I tweaked this recipe from the original found on Sallie’s Baking Addiction.
- Two mixing bowls
- A measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- A mixer (stand or hand-held)
- A rubber spatula
- A spoon
- A cookie sheet
- Non-stick spray
- 1 ½ cup butter*, softened to room temperature
- 1 granulated sugar*
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
*When I made this recipe, I used an equal amount of Splenda instead of sugar, and Smart Balance instead of butter. They tasted great!
- Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil if you have it. Spray with non-stick spray and set aside.
- Make the dough:
- In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, place the softened butter in with the sugar on low-medium, until it looks smooth, creamy, and light.
- Add the vanilla and beat on medium.
- Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat on medium until well-mixed between each one. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed with your spatula.
- Set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, about a third at a time.
- By the last third, the dough will be quite stiff and sticky, and will need to be mixed and kneaded by hand.
- Make the topping: toss ¼ cup granulated sugar with 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Take about half a golf ball-sized amount of dough (about 2 tablespoons) and roll into a ball. Roll the dough balls into the reserved cinnamon-sugar topping. Place each on the greased baking sheet. Gently push down on the top of each ball with the back of your spatula or spoon.
- Bake cookies for 11-12 minutes. The cookies should be soft and thick.
- Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cookies remain soft & fresh for 7 days in an airtight container at room temperature. Cookies freeze well, up to 3 months.
Freezing instructions: roll the dough into balls and then freeze for up to 2 months. You can bake the frozen cookie dough balls in their frozen state for 1-2 minutes longer than what the recipe states.