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My biggest issue when following cookie recipes is numbers. You see, I almost inevitably fall short of the intended size of the batch. Occasionally it's not just kind of short, but very short. Most recently, a whopping 15 cookies short. This is all because apparently I don't know the size of nuts. We've all seen the direction before: "Roll dough into balls the size of walnuts." This is 2011, people—I buy my walnuts pre-shelled.
Sure, I have seen walnuts whole, but I guess I'm not so hot at visualizing their shape when I portion cookie dough. My cookies always end up larger than they were supposed to be, which isn't really a problem except for the nagging feeling that the recipe just can't be right. Take the most recent recipe I made for Snickerdoodles, which I've loved since I was little (how could you not, with a name like Snickerdoodle?). I was supposed to end up with 34 cookies. Well, I rolled that dough into pretty petite balls and I still only ended up with 19 cookies. 19 cookies! The recipe said to roll the dough into balls the size of walnuts, but I'm telling you, to get 34 cookies you would have had to roll the dough into balls the size of pistachios.
In the end I decided to stick with my over-sized Snickerdoodles, because the glory of these cookies is their soft, cakey interior. Some snickerdoodle fans might tell you that snickerdoodles need to be flat and crisp, but I disagree. The sweet vanilla flavor, lightly spiced interior, and cinnamon-sugar coating is what defines a good Snickerdoodle. The cinnamon-sugar topping makes these cookies positively addictive, no matter what the size.
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About the author: Carrie Vasios is the Community Manager of Serious Eats and writes the Wake and Bake, Cookie Monster, and Serious Entertaining columns. She likes perusing her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar.