Many spices and herbs add zest to foods but recently the focus has shifted to their ability to fight disease. One teaspoon cinnamon has as many antioxidants as 1/2 cup blueberries. Ginger appears to decrease inflammation and aid digestion. Oregano, rosemary and thyme also have antioxidants in significant amounts. Add these spices and herbs to foods seems to boost antioxidant power of foods.
Fragrant cinnamon scents the kitchen when these cookies are in the oven. Due to their unknown origin, possibly from the Pennsylvania Dutch or originally from New England, no one can explain their delightful name. Rolling the dough in cinnamon sugar gives the cookies a crinkly appearance and crunchy sugar coating.
MAKES 4 TO 5 DOZEN
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Heat oven to 375°F with oven rack in middle. Lightly grease cookie sheets.
Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.
Beat butter and sugar in bowl of a heavy-duty mixer on Medium-High speed until creamy, scraping down sides of bowl once or twice. Add vanilla and eggs and mix well.
Reduce mixer speed to Low and add the flour mixture. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat until dough forms.
Mix sugar and cinnamon in shallow dish. I use a custard cup but a saucer also works. Using about 1 tablespoon dough, roll into a ball and roll the ball in the cinnamon sugar. Place on cookie sheets.
Bake 10 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire cooling racks.
BAKER’S NOTES: Cream of tartar and baking soda are the basic components of baking powder, and they are used here in its place. I think it makes a difference— see if you agree.
I usually place my oven racks on the second and fourth levels and bake two cookie sheets at once. If the heat in your oven is uneven, rotate the sheets halfway through baking.