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Friday, August 24, 2012

Back to School...Apple Snickerdoodle Cookies

School is in full swing here in Oklahoma.
The first day of school was a bittersweet day for me...
I have loved having the kiddos at home with me!
This summer flew by way too fast!
But, being a {former} teacher, I also LOVE the
Back To School time of year!
Shopping for school supplies
New school clothes
Meet the Teacher
New friends
It's all SO exciting!
The kiddos were {mostly} excited about going back to school, too.
Here they are on the
 The oldest was off at Band Camp
but this is the rest of them...aren't they PRECIOUS!
So, to celebrate surviving their first day of school, I thought I'd make them a
special treat to enjoy when they got home.

 They love Snickerdoodles
{who doesn't?}
So I made a little variation to the classic recipe...
I added applesauce
{in place of the eggs}
and decorated them to look like apples.  :)
They were DE-LISH!

Here's the recipe.
*Adapted from Our Best Bites*
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
8 tablespoons vegetable shortening
2 large eggs (substitute 1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce)
Red food coloring/gel paste
Red Decorator Sugar (for final red "sprinkling")
Tootsie Rolls
Green candy melts (or any other green item for could cut up green fruit rolls, too)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
Combine 1/4 cup sugar and red food coloring in small ziploc baggie. 
"Smush" sugar and food coloring together until sugar is red. 
Combine with cinnamon in shallow dish and set aside.

Cut Tootsie Rolls in 1/2 lengthwise and then each 1/2 in half lengthwise to make 4 strips for stems.
Set aside.
Whisk flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl.
Beat butter, shortening, and remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-6 minutes.
Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.
Reduce speed of mixer to low and slowly add flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds.
Give dough final stir to ensure that no flour pockets remain.

Working with 1-2 tablespoons of dough at a time (depending on desired size) roll into balls.
Working in batches, roll dough balls in cinnamon sugar mixture to coat and set on prepared baking sheet spaced 2 inches apart.

Bake 1 sheet at a time until edges of cookies are set and just barely beginning to brown, but centers are still soft and puffy, about 10-12 minutes.
The cookies should look raw between the cracks and seem underdone.

Immediately sprinkle with Red Decorator Sugar while they are still warm.
Insert a Tootsie Roll strip into the top of each cookie and press lightly.
Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.
Melt green candy melts according to package directions.
Spoon into piping bag fitted with small tip.
Pipe small leaves onto wax paper and let cool. {They don't have to look perfect...the more rustic the better}  :)

Once leaves are set, pipe a small amount onto the back and attach to the cookie near the stem.
Makes about 2 dozen 3-4 inch cookies.

The kiddos really enjoyed their 1st Day of School treat.
I hope yours do, too!! 
Back To School Blessings to you,

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