Two for Troops and Travelers: Part One, Snickerdoodles

Crisp, crunchy Snickerdoodles make good travelers.

Crisp, crunchy Snickerdoodles make good travelers.

The questions was, “What can we bake to send abroad that won’t turn into rancid crumbs?”

A couple of weeks ago, Kendra Newcombe in Searsport wrote, “My mission group has been asked to bake goodies to send to Kuwait. Any suggestions for good travelers that will stand up to the heat?” Sure enough, a couple of you had some very good ideas that I will share this week and next.

First to respond was Corrine Pert in Brooksville, who wrote, “We have a teacher deployed in Kuwait presently. Our Kindergarten class is doing a “Cookies to Kuwait” project. We’ve sent cookies, etc. weekly for several weeks. Mr. Devine, our teacher in Kuwait, says everything we’ve sent has come through great. He and his buddies are loving the treats!” She went on to say that the Snickerdoodles are one of the favorites, though cookies that they sent in vacuum-sealed bags, “arrived whole and tasty.” Lucky Mr. Devine–to have such good friends back home. Clearly packaging is an important part of the process, and access to vacuum-sealing equipment will help you assure success sending your treats.

Corrine supplied the recipe, and said, “The Kindergarten students love to mix everything by hand,” including creaming the butter and sugar, then adding in the flour to make very stiff dough. There is lots of hands-on work in this recipe to form the balls to roll in cinnamon sugar. She didn’t say so, but I hope the young ones get a taste of the cookies before they send the rest to Mr. Devine.

The class bakes their cookies on parchment paper, and I do, too, these days. Their recipe calls for eight to ten minutes of baking time, but I use my air cushion baking pan and find that it tokes only fifteen minutes to bake the cookies. Baking time may vary depending on your oven and baking pans.

I like to make small cookies, about two inches in diameter, and roll the dough into inch to inch-and-a-half balls, and lots of them, which is a good thing, because these are very crisp, a condition favored by Toby who has enjoyed them very much–two or three at a time!

Please note: the recipe calls for baking soda and cream of tartar. If you do not have cream of tartar, substitute one teaspoon of baking powder to replace the soda and cream of tartar.

P.S. To Richard S. who wrote asking for a copy of the Key Lime Pie recipe: The email reply I sent bounced back twice. If you send me your mailing address by email, I will stick it in an envelope for you.


½ cup butter

1 ½ cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 ½ cups flour

1 teaspoon soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Cinnamon and sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat the eggs and add them to the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla. Sift together the flour, and soda and cream of tartar or baking powder. Put cinnamon and sugar, mixed to taste, in a shallow bowl. Roll small spoonsful of dough together to make a ball about an inch to inch-and-a-half in diameter, then roll each in the cinnamon sugar to coat completely, and place on the baking sheet far enough apart to allow spreading to two inches. Bake for eight to ten minutes, check to see if they are golden brown, and slightly flattened, then adjust your baking time.

Makes six dozen two-inch cookies.

Sandy Oliver

About Sandy Oliver

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working Waterfront. Besides freelance food writing, she is a pioneering food historian beginning her work in 1971 at Mystic Seaport Museum, where she developed a fireplace cooking program in an 1830s house. After moving to Maine in 1988, Sandy wrote, Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and Their Foods at Sea and Ashore in the 19th Century published in 1995. She is the author of The Food of Colonial and Federal America published in fall of 2005, and Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving History and Recipes from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie which she co-authored with Kathleen Curtin. She often speaks to historical organizations and food professional groups around the country, organizes historical dinners, and conducts classes and workshops in food history and in sustainable gardening and cooking. Sandy lives on Islesboro, an island in Penobscot where she gardens, preserves, cooks and teaches sustainable lifeways.