It’s a common belief that only children tend to be awkward, many times introverts and apparently always selfish.  Well whoever said that was obviously jealous- speaking from personal experience being the only child was pretty freaking awesome.

Sure I’m weird (I prefer quirky), and on some days I’m definitely one of the most introverted people you’ll ever meet and when it comes to food, you bet I’m selfish — DONT YOU BE TOUCHIN MY BROWNIES. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of days when I’d feel so painfully lonely — until the age of 7 most of my friends came in stuffed animal form.  Laugh it up chuckles but it really forced me to explore my creative side as a result. Plus it was nice to be king like all the time and to this day I love nothing more than spending time alone by myself, with my books, my words and my imagination.  It’s a beautiful thing folks, that is until your life is turned upside down and suddenly the 2 people you love most in the world sadly drift apart.

It was hard.  My parents’ divorce that is.  And at the time when it happened (I was 18) I remembered feeling my heart had been torn in half.  To make matters worse, I go off to college and the first Summer back both my parents had moved on and SURPRISE!  I suddenly had a new mom, a new dad AND a younger sister?  NOW HOLD ON A MINUTE.  I do not share my throne of greatness and especially not with this weird little bugger that was 9 years younger than me.  What the hell does a 18 year old and a 9 year old have in common?  Oh right.  Nothing.

It was awkward.  Everything felt all out of whack.  I’d hang out with mom and her new beau and then have to switch to dad and his new family.  Trust me, I wasn’t amused.  I’ve never felt so uncomfortable and out of place.  It’s as if they both started brand new lives but without me.  *Enter pity party here*

But with time, comes change and eventually acceptance.  I now had 2 moms, 2 dads and a little sister TT.  In my mind I was convinced she was evil.  Out to steal my reign as the favorite and eventually my awesomeness would be replaced by this little bugger with beady eyes, I’m on to you TT don’t think I don’t see your tricks! Yet no matter how hard I’d resist, year after year she’d grow on me.  She made me this really sweet card for my birthday this one time and would climb into bed to cuddle with me in the mornings.  Trying to tug on my heart strings I see, well played TT, well played.

Then something strange happened.  I found myself actually enjoying having a sister.  What once was a foreign and uncomfortable feeling morphed into something bigger and definitely better and you know, it’s pretty awesome.  I finally have someone I can put make up on, take shopping, go out to eat, give boy advice to and my favorite, bake cookies with.

Most importantly, life didn’t feel as lonely anymore.  It was nice to have a partner-in-crime, someone to snicker with when the parents were being silly, someone to talk to when you were feeling a little sad and someone to love and accept whole heartedly and unconditionally.  Man, I should start writing Hallmark cards.

Plus being a big sister means I can boss her around anywhere anytime any day, AM I RIGHT?

Before TT started her last year of high school she came up to Dallas to visit.  We ate at Fearing’s, Marquee Grill, Royal Sichuan.  I gave her $100 bucks and taught her the art of “bargain shopping” (she bought 3 dresses, jeans and a top) and I showed her some simple recipes that’d be perfect for her when she went off to college.  My mother in law gave me an antique cookbook from the 1930s where there was a recipe for Snickerdoodles.  Since cookies are one of the easiest things to make I opted to teach TT that one. 

These cookies are spectacular, with crispy edges and chewy centers it’s one of those cookies that fill your tummy with warm fuzzies.  And what better way to bond with friends and family than with a large plate of freshly baked cookies washed down with tall glasses of cold milk?  Plus I told TT if you want a boy to fall for you hard and take you out on an epic date, these are the cookies that’ll tug on his heart strings. :) Happy baking folks, until next time…

5.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Crispy edges and a chewy center, these Snickerdoodles will be a hit with any crowd!
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Cream together butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
  3. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.



  1. Nadia says: 8 Sep ’11 • 16:38:48

    what a heartwarming story. i’m sure your parents’ divorce was tough – but sometimes things happen the way they’re supposed to. i’m sure you wouldn’t be without your sister now.

    plus, these snickerdoodles are full of comforting flavors — perfect for bonding with someone close over a cup of tea or coffee. :)


  2. Liren says: 8 Sep ’11 • 16:53:56

    Joy, leave it up to you to be able to make be both laugh and cry (and get hungry) in a matter of a few minutes. I was an only child for 7 years, so I know well the friendship of stuffed animals and reigning supreme. When my younger siblings finally came about, it was definitely a lesson in sharing and family. I fear the big D like it is the plague, and I am so happy that you were able to live through that with a stronger heart. What a beautiful post!


  3. Toby says: 8 Sep ’11 • 18:05:55

    Ah, Joy – it’s a beautiful thing that you’ve grown closer to your sister, when so many families are growing apart as they age.

    And the snickerdoodles – such memories! It’s the one cookie that I can actually remember my mom and grandmother making. Even saying the word now, I can see them and smell that buttery cinnamon y cookie in the oven..

    Thanks for evoking the memory!


  4. Meredith Olson says: 9 Sep ’11 • 03:00:11

    The directions say to ‘cream together the butter, shortening, sugar…’ but there is no shortening listed in the ingredients.


  5. Tres Delicious says: 9 Sep ’11 • 04:52:53

    I bet every stories in that book has a good foundation. I want to know every nice recipes from it.


  6. Sasha @ The Procrastobaker says: 9 Sep ’11 • 14:57:58

    What a lovely post, so beautifully written! Hurrah for us single children but indeed, having a little sis to boss around would have its plus points too :)
    oh…and these cookies..gorgeous!


  7. Eddie Chang says: 11 Sep ’11 • 17:43:39

    They look so good. It’s definitely not what I had growing up but it’s something I totally wish I had growing up. Thanks for the recipe and the bodacious pics.


  8. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says: 14 Sep ’11 • 02:57:52

    One of the things that I just love about you is how candid you are and how willing you are to share your experience with others. I’m an only child too and I don’t regret it one bit, but I do know what you mean about having a partner in crime. It must be nice to have that special relationship with your sister.


  9. Ronna Denton says: 19 Sep ’11 • 15:12:31

    Joylicious, love your blog. Your story along with snickerdoodles really touched my heart. I too am a big sister to three younger ones. However, my sisters came gradually, not pushed on at once. Major changes that come suddenly, with out our control are hard to adapt to. But your love for your little sis shows how well you did in your own challenge. TT is very happy to have you, I am sure of it. And snickerdoodles are my favorite, which I hate to share, I could eat them all by myself!


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