Posted by Stephanie Simpson on
Sunday in Edmonton marked a shift. For the first time this fall, the city woke to snow and decidedly subzero temperatures. And though things are looking better for the week ahead, that first snowfall seems to bring a change in mentality: Summer is over; winter is on its way.
And so: It’s time to bake cookies. Spicy, cinnamon- and cayenne-flecked chocolate snickerdoodles, if we’re being precise. Cookies rolled in cinnamon sugar, to give them a crunch and a sparkle that serve as a foil against a soggy, grey day. Coziness in edible form.
They’re easy enough to throw together – if you’ve got a reasonably stocked pantry, a bowl and a baking tray, you can start now and be eating your first cookie in 20 minutes. And they’re vegan, which is good news if, like me: 1) You never seem to have eggs, and; 2) You have dietarily-restricted family and friends (they need cookie love too!).
Make a test batch or two now so that you’re well-practiced for when the cold weather decides to stay. Then arm yourself with a cookie, a cup of hot chocolate and a heavy sweater, and you’ll be ready to brave sitting in a couch next to an un-weather-sealed window.
1 cup of granulated white sugar
1/2 cup neutral-tasting oil (like canola or vegetable)
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tbsp water
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cayenne
scant 1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two standard baking trays with parchment paper or a Silpat.
In a large bowl, stir together the sugar (1 cup), oil, maple syrup and water until smooth. Add the vanilla and stir again until smooth. In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon (1/2 tsp), cayenne and salt until the ingredients are evenly dispersed and there are no lumpy bits of cocoa remaining.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until you have a uniform dough. The dough will be stiff – don’t be afraid to squish it together using your (clean) hands!
On a flat plate, mix together the 1/4 cup of white sugar and the 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.
Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls (a slightly rounded tablespoon works as a good measure). Flatten each ball in the palm of your hand, until it’s roughly 1.5 inches across. Dip one face of the flattened cookie into the cinnamon sugar and place it on the baking sheet, sugar side up. Leave 1-2 inches between cookies to give them room to spread.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges begin to firm up. Let the cookies cool on the tray for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool further.