Not a surprise to anybody who knows me in real life, but I’m a HUGE fan of reading – and have been from a very young age. Reading was a way to escape to a different time or place or both and whether it be a galaxy “far far away” or a war between cousins, I’ve always had an appetite for expanding my world via the written word. Which is why I was BEYOND thrill to see /52weeksofcooking was doing a challenge based on book inspiration. The hard part was finding a book to pick from the hundreds on my shelves, but in end I had to go with one of my favorite “YA” books. Eleanor & Park is technically a YA book, but it’s also a great “remember when” book for anyone that grew up in the 80s – or anyone still bitter about the cancellation of My So Called Life (or Freaks and Geeks) during the 90s. Without giving too much away, we’ll just say that Eleanor’s home life is bit rough and while she loves her mom things aren’t always the best between them. However one happy moment between the two takes place in the kitchen when her mom dabs vanilla extract behind her ears as a cheaper perfume option.
'I do it,' her mom said, 'because it's cheaper than perfume, but it smells just as good.'
This smell is the one Park remembers, lingering while they are on the school bus – causing him to think of sugar cookies and other vanilla treats. However, I knew that I couldn’t just make any sugar cookie to represent Eleanor & Park, it needed to have some sort of a twist. So I decided to merge my favorite snickerdoodle recipe with my favorite sugar cookie recipe in order to create and sugar cookie with a bit of added texture and just slightly cracked.
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
- Cream the butter and add the sugar gradually - then blend for 10 minutes. Add eggs one at time, mixing well between additions, then add in the vanilla.
- Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt gradually to the creamed mixture, and combine until just mixed. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or baking sheets.
- Roll dough in to two inch balls then place on the sheet - do not flatten!
- Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 8 -10 minutes or until cookie has a golden appearance
These cookies didn’t last long, becoming a treat for my co-workers to celebrate a recent achievement for one of then. Before anyone gets concerned. I did allow Joe to have the ones in the photo as it’s only right to pay the photographer!