Monday, November 7, 2005

Praline Snickerdoodles

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda (make sure the baking soda is fresh, baking soda should bubble when added to vinegar, baking powder should bubble when added to hot water.
2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tespoon Penzey's Mexican vanilla
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup pork lard, at room temperature
1 and 3/4 cups sugar, divided into 1 and 1/2 cups and 1/4 cup
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup toffee pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans (toasted first is a nice touch)

1 Tablespoon ground Vietnamese cinnamon

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Use more than one, giving the pan time to cool down between batches so the cookies don't spread too much.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt in bowl.

With a mixer set on medium-high speed, beat butter, lard, 1 1/2 cups sugar (that will leave you with 1/4 cup of regular sugar for the topping) until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each, until combined.

Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture gradually, mixing until just combined, then add toffee pieces and pecans.

Combine theTablespoon of cinnamon, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a wide cereal or soup bowl.

Roll dough into 1 and a half inch balls with moistened hands (to prevent sticking), flattening the top just slightly. Toss in cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat, then place 2 to 3 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake each sheet separately until edges are light golden brown and centers are look puffy and soft, but still slightly underdone, 10-12 minutes, rotating each sheet halfway through baking. Remove from oven and let set five minutes and then finish cooling on a wire rack.

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