As a kid when it came to cookies, our prompt for today, my very favorite cookie was a snickerdoodle. Most kids preferred chocolate chip cookies, but I didn’t care for those as much. I loved the cinnamon buttery gooey goodness of a fresh snickerdoodle right out of the oven. Each time my mother would reach for that mysterious and seldom used ingredient called Cream Of Tartar, I knew heaven would soon follow. It’s a peculiar ingredient that can make mile-high meringue but we only really ever used it for this kind of cookie. And once, I think, to make homemade Play-Doh. The acid in Cream Of Tartar gives these cookies a signature tangy flavor and sets them apart from an ordinary cinnamon coated sugar cookie. I didn’t learn any of that, of course, until I was an adult and became interested in trivial things. Back then, I just loved gobbling them up!
These days, I rarely have cookies, but yesterday after lunch we passed a place called Insomnia Cookies. It’s a popular chain that’s signature feature is allowing you to order cookies like you might a pizza and have them delivered, up until 3am. I stepped in to have a look and was thrilled to see a Snickerdoodle as an option so I got one. Just one little cookie. And it was amazing! It wasn’t quite like my mother made, but close enough to prompt all of those wonderful memories. I’ve tried to get Philippe to make them, and he did, but only once sometime last year. Now we have a sad little can of Cream Of Tartar just sitting in the pantry looking forlorn. I mention it every so often to see if he takes the hint, and even, horror upon horrors, have considered attempting to bake them myself. Having absolutely no kitchen skills, I decided I shouldn’t risk it, however, and turned my sights back to Philippe to continue my passive aggressive begging.
It’s funny how a simple little treat like this could become one of my strongest memories of childhood. I remember the taste, the smell while they were cooking, the texture of the kind just out of the oven and the crunchier texture of those cookies that managed to escape getting eaten in the same day. Every version was delicious and had a unique flavor all its own. These memories are my favorite because their vividness makes no good sense at all. There’s wasn’t a special occasion or a big event to attach to them. In reality, the memories surrounding the times I ate these cookies is blurry and perfectly unimportant. It was probably just another normal day or the cookies were so amazing they opaqued any other event. What matters, though, is that wonderful memory of a childhood treat, crafted with love and affection, back in the days when mom made snickerdoodles.
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