Friday, August 27, 2010

Snickerdoodle Stories

Like most of my farmers' market encounters, this one started with something on the table that caught my eye. It was local flour and the minute I saw it, I had to try some. I was so impressed with Dunbar Farms I mentioned their flour in a previous blog post, and last week I wrote a blog for Village Books about finding Dunbar Farms and their grain and bean production.

When I visited the farm I was impressed by this low-tech way of drying the grain in the sun. Recently, I discovered that grains ground and sold in grocery stores are often dried at too high of heat and the germ is killed making those grains impossible to use as seed. It made me wonder about wheat allergies. The way we grow and dry grains in massive commodity quantities makes me suspect that the growing number of wheat allergies in this country could be due to the way wheat is cultivated and processed. Maybe if more people ate sustainabley-grown local wheat processed at a lower temperature we'd see less allergic reactions.
I wanted to use this local flour in a recipe that would highlight the wheat flavor so I chose Snickerdoodles. It was an old recipe that my daughter gave me, but I misplaced it, so I tried to recall all the ingredients and I made my own version. Even Finn was impressed by my creations.
This is a nice showcase recipe for locally grown and processed flour.
(Makes about 42 cookies)

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg

3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or oil lightly.

2. Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Blend well. In another bowl, combine butter, sugar, and vanilla extract. Cream these together until smooth, then add the egg and mix well. Combine dry and liquid ingredients and stir until a firm dough forms. (It must be stiff enough to pick up and roll into balls.)

3. Combine the sugar and cinnamon sugar in a small bowl. Then take a small amount of dough (about a teaspoon and a half) and roll it into a ball. Roll the ball in the cinnamon sugar. Set the sugared ball on the baking sheet and flatten with the bottom of a glass.

4. Bake for 12 minutes, and try to keep your kitchen assistant from eating them all.


tom | tall clover farm said...

Next to English Bulldogs (yes I have two), I think Bassets are about as cute as a dog can be. Love your canine assistant and the photo of drying wheat. I grew some this year and getting it into the flour form is indeed the hard part. Love your blog.

ddzeller said...

Hey, I always thought English Bulldogs were cool, but do they snore? I must hear more about your wheat stories.