By Victoria Piccione ’16
I’m the first to acknowledge Valentine’s Day for what it really is, or what it should be: the chocolate holiday. If you’re in a relationship, chances are you’ll get a box of truffles with maybe a dozen red roses. If you’re single, rich and indulgent chocolate is undoubtedly better than any significant other anyway. And while chocolate raspberry torte, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate lava cakes, or just about any form of chocolate all say romance, this Valentine’s Day why not spice things up? Because with enough snow outside to justify two consecutive snow days and even colder temperatures in the forecast, we could all use some warming up.
Aphrodisiacs are foods that spark romance. Oysters, avocadoes, chocolate, and strawberries are all examples. Cinnamon, as a spice, falls into this category as well. And because nothing says I love you like a freshly baked batch of cookies, Snickerdoodles would make the perfect addition to your Valentine’s Day celebration. The cinnamon brings the warmth; the butter brings the comfort, and the sugar brings the sweet. Best of all, these cookies are remarkably simple, and they stay moist and chewy for days.
The original recipe describes them as Mrs. Field’s copycats, which, while I’ve never had a Mrs. Field’s Snickerdoodle, seems to be the gold standard. Airy but substantial, not too crumbly and ridiculously chewy, the right amount of sweet and the perfect amount of cinnamon, these cookies beat out even some of my favorite chocolate-based alternatives. So this Valentine’s Day, whip up a batch and say I love you in the sweetest, warmest way possible.
Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ tsp. cinnamon
1 ½ cups flour
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
¼ tsp. salt
+ ¼ cup granulated sugar
+ 2 tsp. cinnamon
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars on medium speed until creamed and combined.
- Once well combined, add the egg and vanilla, and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the cinnamon, flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt, beating on low and then medium speed, until just combined.
- Important: The dough must be allowed to chill in the fridge for at least an hour. If you do not give it this time to set up, the cookies will come out flat and will not reach their full potential. During this time, make your special someone a beautiful handmade Valentine.
- Once the cookies have chilled for at least an hour, remove from fridge. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and grease two baking sheets with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the extra sugar and cinnamon for rolling.
- Using two spoons, scoop dough and roll into balls about 1-inch in diameter. Roll the balls in the cinnamon-sugar until fully coated, then place them on the baking sheet, at least one inch apart from each other.
- Bake in the preheated for no more than 9 minutes. The cookies may appear under-baked and very soft in the middle: these are done! The cookies will firm up as they cool on the baking sheets, and over-baking them will leave them less chewy and soft.
- Enjoy with your loved one/best friend/platonic Valentine!