One of my favorite cookies of all time. There’s something about the simplicity of them that I crave often. Perfectly chewy and buttery with a light crunch from a liberal rolling in cinnamon sugar.
They are also–in my opinion–one of the most underrated cookies of all time. They take second billing to the chocolate-laden, caramel-y, frosted, peanut-butter, sprinkle-coated cookies on the tray. It’s not fair!
The good ol’ reliable ‘doodle deserves to be in the spotlight.
Without fail, every time I make these and bring them to friends, they remark that these are such great cookies and “Why don’t you see them more often?!”
They are certainly gorgeous too:
When I was a kid, I thought snickerdoodles must be cookies with Snickers pieces in them. To anyone who doesn’t know, a snickerdoodle is essentially a sugar cookie dough which is rolled in cinnamon sugar before baking. According to Wikipedia:
“The Joy of Cooking claims that snickerdoodles are probably German in origin, and that the name is a corruption of the German word Schneckennudeln (“snail doodles”), a kind of pastry. It is also possible that the name is simply a nonsense word with no particular meaning, originating from a New England tradition of whimsical cookie names.”
To me, the mark of a good snickerdoodle is a beautifully crackled top, just the slightest tang from their “secret ingredient” (cream of tartar), a soft and moist interior, and PLENTY OF CINNAMON SUGAR!!!
This recipe meets all those criteria and is the only one I’ll use. It’s been tweaked many times over the years and I have no idea where it originally came from. But I hope you’ll give them a try and enjoy them as much as I do!
First, cream some butter and white sugar:
Add an egg and some vanilla:
Then the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt:
This is a thick dough, so get it all nice and uniform before chilling briefly:
Meanwhile, prepare a dish with cinnamon sugar:
Stick ’em on a baking sheet and bake!
Makes about 2 dozen 2 1/2″ cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well.
2. Mix 1 1/2 cups of the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl, then add to wet ingredients and mix until incorporated. Dough should be thick. Try picking up a pinch of dough and rolling it into a ball. If it is too sticky, add in remaining 1/4 flour, a tablespoon or two at a time, until dough is easy to handle. Cover and refrigerate about 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, mix cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl or dish and set aside.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
5. Once dough has chilled, roll into golf ball-sized balls and place in cinnamon-sugar, rolling to coat thoroughly. Place on baking sheets, leaving 2-3 inches of space between cookies.
6. Bake for 7-9 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. I like to also sprinkle the cookies with additional cinnamon-sugar halfway through baking, once they’ve flattened slightly. Cookies are done when beginning to turn golden brown around edges and just set in the middles. Do not overbake!