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Sumac stars in this riff on classic snickerdoodle cookies

Rose Wilde and her Pucker-Doodle cookie
Rose Wilde is the owner and chef of Red Bread and executive pastry chef of Rossoblu and Superfine. In her rendition of the snickerdoodle called Pucker-Doodles, Wilde coats the cookie dough in sumac sugar.
(Portrait by Christina House / Los Angeles Times; cookie photo by Silvia Razgova / For The Times; food and prop styling by Leah Choi)

We asked several L.A.-area pastry chefs and cooks to contribute their favorite holiday cookies. Each is a simple, homestyle cookie that reflects the contributor’s memories of holidays past.

Rose Wilde

Owner and Chef of Red Bread; Executive Pastry Chef of Rossoblu and Superfine

Snickerdoodles are one of my all-time favorite cookies; they’re a great foundation base that can become anything you want.

I started experimenting rolling them in things other than cinnamon early on as a kid. But then a few years ago, I was in Lebanon helping to open a bakery called Mavia, which employs Syrian refugees. I encountered fresh sumac in the markets, always in giant bowls. The taste reminded me of Sour Patch Kids, which are legendary in restaurant kitchens as a snack. Pro tip: They taste amazing chilled.

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So once I came back to the U.S., I started seeing sumac everywhere and loved finding new ways to use it. For this rendition of the snickerdoodle, I coat the cookie dough in sumac sugar.

I think that any cookie rolled in sugar with sparkle makes me think of holidays, because it makes them look like ornaments. The masa harina gives a lovely texture to an otherwise soft cookie, and I add small bits of white chocolate to get pops of sweetness to balance the sour.

I feel like so much of my work is rediscovering food in the wild and bringing it back into the kitchen and giving it a sense of place. This cookie does that for me.

— As told to Ben Mims

Pucker-Doodles

Time 50 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling
Yields Makes 3 1/2 dozen


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