I first encountered the American author Jean Johnson online through her very steamy Harry Potter fanfiction. Yeah, I know. So sue me.
She and I happen to have the same birthday. I became one of her beta readers for her fanfiction, then for her fantasy/romance novels. Despite having a 9-hour time difference between us, we chatted online through my mornings and her late nights. We finally managed to meet for real a few years ago during the World Science Fiction Convention in London.
But back to our subject: to celebrate chapter 100 of one of her fanfictions, Jean included a recipe for her favourite biscuits, I mean, cookies: Snickerdoodles. These are nicely rounded, rather soft in the middle, and covered in crunchy spiced sugar.
Here is her recipe, translated to British English:
3 ¼ cups sifted plain flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarb of soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ cups light brown sugar
3 eggs, well beaten
1 cup hazel nuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
1 cup butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 dash of nutmeg
Melt the butter, add the sugar and mix. Beat the eggs into the butter-sugar mixture thoroughly. Stir into the flour until you get an homogeneous dough.
Mix together the remaining ½ cup sugar, ½ tsp cinnamon, and dash of nutmeg in a shallow dish.
With a teaspoon, take a walnut-sized lump of dough. Roll it between your hands into a ball, and dredge in the sugar mixture. Cook 10 to 13 minutes on a greased baking tray (or non-stick baking parchment). Cool on a wire rack.