Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Having faith

There's a wonderful quote at the end of Miracle on 34th Street: "Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to." It's hard to remember when you are caught up in the day to day mania of driving around in circles to the endless cycle of practices, games, practices, games, and more practices, adjudicating territorial disputes, cajoling reluctant flossers, enforcing homework completion, or wresting control of the remote from warm sweaty hands when dinner's on the table, but at its heart, parenting is all about faith.

For instance:

Believing that when you put your daughter on a bus full of strangers and wave goodbye that it's going to be the experience of a lifetime for her, when common sense tells you it's way too soon to let her go.

I cried as I walked away. But I have faith.

Luckily, I also have snickerdoodles* to tide me over until she's back.

Consolation Snickerdoodle Cookies

This recipe is the result of years of collaborative testing by my sister, my niece, my daughter, and me. Turns out we've had a few other moments between us where faith and snickerdoodles came in handy.

1/4 c. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. shortening
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 2/3 c. flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

3 Tbs. sugar
3 tsp. cinnamon

Heat oven to 375. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, cream cheese, shortening, and sugar until fluffy. Blend in the eggs and the extracts. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to the large bowl, and mix well. In a shallow bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon together. Form the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, and then roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar until completely coated. Place about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or a Silpat. Gently flatten each ball with your fingers or the bottom of a glass. They will puff up during baking, and then flatten when they cool. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden brown on the edges.

Eat by the handful. You'll feel a little better. Or just watch Miracle on 34th Street. It turns out that having faith works out all right in the end.

*These are my daughter's favorite cookies. She likes them even when everything's going great.

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