Cookies by Nelle
These Snickerdoodle Shortbread Cookies are the brainchild of a brainy and brilliant child that has become one of my best buds over the past year. My neighbor Nelle is 12 years old and in the 6th grade. Like most of the kids growing up during the global pandemic, the bulk of her school year has been remote learning. That adds up to a whole lot of screen time without hands-on learning. I am all too familiar with this imbalance, and it reminds me of the reason I started baking in first place.
Years ago, Dayn and I had a web and graphic design business. This was way back in the day when Flash was still a thing and it seemed to take hours for graphics to render. As small business owners, we worked from sun up to sun down, took a short break to consume something unhealthy, then went back to burning the midnight oil. We were pulling 12-16 hour days hunched over computers with little to no sunlight in our lives. I am still not sure how we, or our relationship, survived.
Baking is therapy, period
My need to break away from the computer and use my hands lead me to discover my love and passion for baking. I found butter, sugar and flour to be a therapeutic channel for my hands-on creative energies. Facing the possibility of a full school year of virtual class, Nelle's Dad reached out to ask if I could teach her baking lessons as a learning pod. I know screen fatigue induced stress personally, so I enthusiastically agreed.
When in doubt, bake it out
Since September of 2020, Nelle and I have been baking together every Thursday afternoon. It's been a source of inspiration and rejuvenation for us both. We've baked everything from crumbly Pear Crisps to mini holiday Apple Cheddar Pies to angelic Meyer Lemon Rose Madeleines. Nelle's skills seem to improve tenfold, week after week. She remembers the tiniest details from weeks prior, picks up on techniques quickly and comes up with creative flavor combos and interesting recipe ideas!
The golden shortbread ratio - 4:2:1
These Shortbread Snickerdoodle Cookies were all Nelle. I taught her the basics for making shortbread cookies using the 4:2:1 ratio - 4 parts flour, 2 part butter, 1 part sugar. She customized from there. I've got a bunch of easy Shortbread Cookie recipes with a range of flavors from my classic Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies to my zingy and vibrant Glazed Hibiscus Shortbread Cookies or even my super savory Shortbread Pizza Bites. This new cinnamon spiced version by Nelle filled a flavor gap that my collection was missing. She's is a cinnamon fan like me, so she came up with a shortbread twist on the classic Snickerdoodle. She then tested and developed her very own recipe for Shortbread Snickerdoodle Cookies!
It has been a sincere honor to watch Nelle learn and grow in the kitchen over the past 9 months. She's blossomed into a talented baker that understands the precision and dedication it takes to hone your skills. Her creative side has rooted as well. My heart swells when I see her styling a scene of our fresh bakes during our photo shoots at the end of the lesson.
But nothing makes me more proud than seeing her take the knowledge I have shared with her home to create a solid, successful and downright delicious recipe all on her own. These Shortbread Snickerdoodle Cookies are truly delightful and I already know this recipe will be one I turn to for years.
What makes shortbread cookies different?
- All about the base. Shorties are made from a base of 3 main components; flour, butter & sugar.
- No leaveners, no problems. Unlike sugar cookies, there are no eggs or leaveners like baking soda, baking powder or yeast involved in the dough.
- Infinite adaptability. Once you've got your base, you can riff away with whatever spices, nuts, dried fruits, citrus or chocolates your heart desires.
- Slice & bake, baby. The dough can be rolled into logs, chilled and then sliced and baked as desired. So if you only want 2 cookies, slice off two and bake to order.
- Taste & texture. They’ve got a deeply buttery flavor with a denser, crumbly texture.
- Long lasting. Bonus, they last forever! Like 2+ weeks when stored in an airtight container.
Nelle's signature shortbread ingredients
- A true original. She developed, tested and tweaked the recipe completely on her own!
- Vanillaroma. Nelle added a teaspoon of vanilla to give these cookies a bit more depth of flavor.
- Cinnamon and sugar. This is a classic flavor combo that compliments the buttery shortbread beautifully.
- Glaze & glitz. Nelle's Snickerdoodle Shortbread Cookies feature a lemon scented glaze that gets sprinkled with the cinnamon sugar mixture in a fun and graphic drizzly design.
- Youth will save us all. Nelle is 12, I repeat 12! And she created these Shortbread Snickerdoodle Cookies completely from scratch!
I can't recommend Nelle's Snickerdoodle Shortbread Cookies enough. They are always the right cookie choice for the occasion. They're great for holiday cookie boxes. They're the perfect crisp and snappy cookie to pair with a big bowl of vanilla ice cream on a hot summer day.
5 stars, two thumbs up and aces all the way, Nelle. This Shortbread Snickerdoodle Cookies recipe is a winner!