Jamie and I met each other for the first time at Applebees, halfway between our two towns (we met on eHarmony, so we'd been emailing for a few weeks before our first blind date). He was muscular and tanned with a slightly sunburned nose when he walked into the restaurant where I was nervously waiting, wearing one of my many black and white outfits, which is a color combination he teases me for wearing so often. After a few hours, a drink or two, and lots of getting-to-know-you questions and stories, we hugged goodnight and headed home with a thunderstorm looming. We lived about 70 miles apart, and after a long drive back to my apartment through pouring rain, I was happy to see a text from him... he told me that my smile was even better in person than in my pictures, and he couldn't wait to see me again. By our fourth date, I knew just how special he was and that I had found the man I'd been waiting for.
That first date was 2 years ago yesterday, and I'm thrilled to say that I fell in love with my best friend, and there's no one else I can imagine sharing my life with! :)
For a special occasion dessert, I decided to make Snickerdoodles. I think these are somewhat under-recognized cookies for their simplicity, and perhaps being slightly old-fashioned, but that's also what makes them so delicious. They are made from a simple buttery batter flavored with cream of tartar, which is then shaped into balls and rolled in cinnamon and sugar. When they bake and the dough spreads out, it forms really lovely cracks from the cinnamon, although this was less apparent since I used red gel food coloring to tint my dough a dark pink (since they are "sweetheart" cookies).
These cookies are thin and nicely chewy, staying fresh for days after. Since they are chewy and not crumbly, they are also ideal for ice cream sandwiches, and hold up well when pressed against the ice cream. The secret ingredient in these ice cream sandwiches is... Nutella! A little spread on each cookie before adding the ice cream just took these to a new level of deliciousness. And may I also suggest using Ben and Jerry's "Cinnamon Buns" ice cream... I'm in love with this ice cream, but it is also the perfect complement to the flavor of the cookies.
Snickerdoodle Cookies (about 5 dozen)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 small jar Nutella
- 1/2 gallon ice cream
- wax paper or plastic wrap
Using an electric mixer, thoroughly beat butter and sugar until creamed. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Add by large spoonfuls to butter mixture until all the flour is incorporated into the batter.
Chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Using your hands, scoop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough and shape into a ball. Roll in the cinnamon/sugar mixture until well coated. Repeat with remaining dough.
Place balls about 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet, about 8 balls per sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Edges will be slightly crispy and centers soft and chewy. Remove immediately from baking sheet and cool completely on wax paper.
To assemble your ice cream sandwiches, turn all the cookies over so the flat side is facing up. Spread each with a thin layer of Nutella (about 1 1/2 teaspoon per cookie). Working quickly, place a scoop of ice cream, about 1/2 cup, onto the Nutella-side of the cookie, then take a second cookie and press down onto the ice cream to form a sandwich. Wrap individual sandwiches in wax paper or plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining cookies and ice cream. (After each 4 sandwiches you assemble, transfer them to the freezer so that the ice cream does not become too soft.)
If you did not over-soften the ice cream, freeze sandwiches for 2 hours, or up to 4 hours if ice cream became very soft. For any leftover sandwiches, store in a freezer Ziplock bag to keep them fresh.