Any red chile will do, but we had especially good luck with what are known as "Red Finger Hots." Red Jalapeños or Fresnos will work great. My only suggestion: get some that will be easy to seed....
To say that snickerdoodles have been on our mind lately is something of an understatement. Some time ago, we received an email asking if there was an error in our snickerdoodle recipe. We tested it, and as it happened, our recipe was short 3/4 cup flour. If you're a baker, you know that 3/4 cup flour can make a huge difference. We corrected the recipe in the most recent printing, but anyone who owns an earlier printing (thousands of people) still has the incorrect version of the recipe. The truly unfortunate thing about all this is that we have no way of informing people of our error. We can only hope they stumble across this blog.
But this story can have a happy ending. Namely, in the birth of a new recipe.
Now I'm going to make a confession that many of you will probably find outrageous or at the least, hard to believe. I do not like Snickerdoodles.
Perhaps a more accurate statement would be, I don't care about Snickerdoodles. There is nothing offensive about them, but I just can't fall head over heels for them as I do with so many other cookies. My biggest complaint about them is that they're too sweet with nothing to balance their flavor.
Having said that, I like to believe that every recipe has a kernel--a solid core--worth saving. And my idea of salvation for the Snickerdoodle was browned butter and cocoa nibs. Cocoa nibs are probably one of my favorite ingredients to use in baking. They have tons of chocolate flavor without any sweetness and a pleasant bitterness. This bitter chocolate flavor combined with nutty brown butter and the tang of cream of tartar was just the thing to give Snickerdoodles a new life.
To transform this recipe into a traditional Snickerdoodle recipe, simply beat softened butter with the sugar, omit the cocoa nibs, and proceed as normal. The amounts will stay the same whether you use the updated or traditional version.
*Note: I made these to be bite-sized. If you want a larger cookie, use a tablespoon to measure out the dough.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. In a small saucepan, melt:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
Over medium heat, brown the butter. It takes about 5 minutes, and you know the butter is ready when it smells nutty and foams up. See this article for more details on how to brown butter.
Combine the browned butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with:
1 1/2 cups sugar
Beat with the paddle attachment until the bowl is just slightly warm (not hot) to the touch. Add and beat to combine:
Add and stir gently until the dough is not quite completely mixed:
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Add and stir to incorporate until the dough is thoroughly mixed and homogenous:
1/2 cup cocoa nibs
Combine in a separate bowl:
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon
Portion the dough using a teaspoon (for larger cookies, use a tablespoon). Roll the balls of dough in the cinnamon sugar and place them 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until the cookies are light brown around the edges, about 7 to 10 minutes. Cool completely on a rack.