Monday, April 27, 2015

Snickerdoodle Apple Cobbler

Snickerdoodle Apple Cobbler - made April 18, 2015, originally "Snipdoodles" in The Dessert Bible by Christopher Kimball
I got the idea of this dessert from pinterest but wandered off the beaten path to try and do something pseudo-original. First, I thought I’d start with a regular sugar cookie recipe, parbake the bottom layer of an individual size ramekin with the sugar cookie dough, layer the apple slices rolled in cinnamon sugar over the parbaked layer, take globs of cookie dough rolled in more cinnamon sugar, drop as a “crust” on top of the apples and let it bake into a snickerdoodle apple cobbler. It sounded like such a good idea. Unfortunately, the scrumptious creation in my head didn’t quite materialize in reality. I hate when that happens.

Things I could have done better with this idea:
  • Parbake the bottom layer longer. I was so afraid of baking it too much and having the sugar cookie layer on the bottom overbaked and hard that I took it out too soon before I layered the apples over it. Which meant I got a raw, mushy bottom layer. Ugh.
  • Use fewer apple slices and slice them more thinly so they’ll bake faster. I’m so used to apples baking down that I piled these up in the ramekin a little too optimistically. Apples do bake down if you bake them long enough but I miscalculated the time between when the top layer of sugar cookie dough would bake and brown and when the apples would be soft enough. So the apples came out a bit more firm than they should have been by the time I felt I had to take it out because the top layer of cookie had baked enough. Ugh v2.
So pretty much the main bright spot in this attempt was the top layer of golden brown sugar cookie dough was pretty good. A bit crispy-crunchy since I baked it as long as I dared to bake the apples enough but the taste was pretty good. This definitely can’t be called one of my successes but that’s also why I had to blog it. Not everything works out. I own up to the mistakes, learn from them, think about how I could make this better next time and move on. And I'm documenting here in case anyone else wants to learn from my mistakes and make this better.
Sugar cookie recipe below
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cut into thin slices
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Make sugar cookie dough as directed below. In a small ramekin, pat in an even layer of dough, about 1/8" to 1/4" thick (your preference). Parbake in 350-degree oven until lightly browned at the edges but not completely baked, 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  2. Toss apple slices in cinnamon sugar mixture. It's okay if you don't use it all, you'll need the rest for the topping. Layer over parbaked sugar cookie layer.
  3. Portion small pieces of dough and flatten. Coat both sides of each piece in the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture and place randomly over apples. Don't worry about covering completely; this will be "rustic" looking.
  4. Return to the oven and bake until top is light golden brown and apples are soft when poked with a toothpick. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream if desired.
  5. Bake any remaining dough as regular sugar cookies.
Sugar Cookie Dough (full recipe - you can make less if you don't want extra cookies)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened but still firm
1 ½ cups plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup milk
3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
  1. Beat the butter and 1 ½ cups of the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer or with a wooden spoon until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated.  Add the milk and stir to incorporate.  
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the next 5 ingredients (flour through nutmeg) and then stir into the butter-sugar mixture.  Dough is ready for use for cobbler.
  3. If you want to bake the rest into normal cookies: Chill dough for 2 hours.  Heat oven to 350 F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Shape dough into large, walnut-size balls, about 1 ¼ inches in diameter.  Mix together the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Dip tops of dough balls in sugar-cinnamon mixture.  
  5. Place balls 3 inches apart on lined baking sheet.  Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 6 minutes.  Cookies will appear undercooked when removed from the oven; the centers will still be very moist and light.  Remove cookies to a rack; as they cool, they will firm up.  Repeat with a new sheet of parchment paper until all the dough is baked.

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