How can a name like snickerdoodle conjure anything but good times? These cookies with a funny name and I go way back. Snickerdoodles are similar to a sugar cookie, with the addition of cream of tartar, and are rolled in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.
Snickerdoodles are the first cookie my mom taught me how to make by myself. She showed me how to cream the sugar and soft butter together until they are light and fluffy to get that perfect texture. She taught me to never skimp on the vanilla. Nothing compares to good quality, pure vanilla extract. And most important, if you leave them in the oven until they look done, they are probably over-baked. Cookies will continue to cook on the hot pan after they are removed from the oven. Once they are cool, they will be just right.
No matter how many complicated recipes I try with fancy ingredients or snazzy kitchen gadgets, I’m always happy to bake a batch of snickerdoodles. And from what I’ve observed, people are always happy to see them. Thanks, Mom!
Yields 24-30 cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
scant ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
For the topping:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Measure the flour by dipping the measuring cup into the flour and, using the flat side of a butter knife, level the excess flour back into the container. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cream of tartar, and nutmeg together in a medium bowl and set aside.
3. Mix the two topping ingredients together thoroughly in another small bowl and set that aside.
4. In the large bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Stop to scrape the bowl with a spatula as needed.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, stopping to mix on low speed until each is combined. Scrape the bowl.
6. Stir in the flour mixture in three additions. After each addition, mix on low speed and mix just until combined. Be careful not to over-mix the dough. Scrape the bowl, and mix a few seconds just to make sure everything is mixed in.
7. Use a small cookie or ice cream scoop to measure the dough in portions of about one tablespoon, and drop the dough onto a prepared baking sheet. Scoop all the dough for the sheet at once, about two inches apart. Pick up one scoop of dough and, after rolling it into a ball, drop it into the reserved bowl of sugar and cinnamon. Roll the dough around to ensure it is covered, and return it to the sheet. Repeat with the remaining scoops of dough.
8. Bake the cookies 9-11 minutes, or until they are just golden around the edges. They will be puffed up when removed from the oven, but will flatten as they cool, and form the craggy Snickerdoodle tops. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for about five minutes and remove to a wire rack to cool.
For something different, try substituting chai spice for the cinnamon in the topping mixture. It’s delicious!
Recipe slightly adapted from Rosie’s Bakery Chocolate-Packed Jam-Filled Butter-Rich No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book