This recipe for Snickerdoodles is from my Grandmother Lourainey Hurley (who, by the way, was nothing like the grandmother in ALASKA...) passed down to me by my Aunt Opal.
Now, here's the backstory. I'd love to tell you of all the great times I sat at my Grandma's kitchen table and munched on those amazing cookies.
But I can't. I never even knew she made those cookies when I was a little kid. Our visits from our home in Ohio to hers in southern Kentucky were fairly rare, and didn't synchronize with her Snickerdoodle baking schedule.
She'd slice a huge serving of that cake for me, place it in front of me with a big, icy cold glass of milk. It didn't matter if we arrived at 2 a.m. or 2 p.m.
I've tried to recreate that cake, and haven't quite yet.
Years later, I asked my Aunt Opal if she had that dried apple stack cake recipe. She didn't, but she shared some of her and her mom's recipes with me, many of which are now my family's favorites.
Aunt Opal was a remarkable woman; she started from the humblest of beginnings (first child in her community to go to high school) and later achieved a PhD in home economics, and eventually was an administrator in Home Economics and Human Nutrition, Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Yesterday, I spent the evening with her beautiful daughter Patricia, Pat's husband John, and my dad, at a University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Hall of Fame induction ceremony; Aunt Opal was posthumously inducted. It was inspiring to think of all the lives she helped and touched, working tirelessly to create and implement programs that would improve her fellow citizens' lives.
Every time I think I can't do something, I hear Aunt Opal saying "why not? of course you can!" So eventually, I know I'll figure out that dried apple stack cake recipe!
In the meantime, my grandmother's Snickerdoodle recipe is still the first cookie we bake for Christmas. As little ones, my daughters always loved rolling the dough in the spiced sugar coating!
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 2/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
For coating: mix 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon cloves
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In large bowl, cream together shortening and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Blend in eggs. In another bowl, mix the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Gently blend the flour mixture into the shortening/sugar/eggs mixture.
When dough is thoroughly blended, roll into balls about the size of walnuts. Then roll in sugar/cinnamon/cloves.
Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet and bake until top of cookies look puffy but begin to fall or settle down. (Check after 7 or so minutes.) Makes 5 dozen cookies.