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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Snickerdoodles

I love all sorts of cookies, but I’ve never been very drawn to snickerdoodles.  I’m not sure why, given the cinnamon sugar coating is something I just LOVE on other things (like these muffins).  I suppose maybe it is because when I see them in a dessert case up against a giant chocolate chip cookie, a cookie full of M&Ms (my favorite candy), or some triple-super-duper-chocolatey concoction, they just seem sort of plain.  Well, that perception has now been set straight in my mind.  I *love* these snickerdoodles.  I baked them last week for Ben’s parent night as I mentioned before, and they looked and smelled so amazing that I was pretty upset about having to send them all off to school with him.  Thankfully, one of the cookies decided to mysteriously spread out into a bizarre and unattractive cookie, so I kept that one for us to sample.  It tasted phenomenal – and that was the bad one!  I will definitely make another batch very soon so I can enjoy at least two (or maybe more! ;) )  

Normally almost any time a recipe calls for shortening, I inevitably substitute with butter, but the text before the recipe in the cookbook discusses the fact that the shortening is important in this recipe to help the cookies retain their shape and not spread too much (maybe the one I ate was mostly butter?)  Another thing to note is that usually, I bake two sheets of cookies at the same time and rotate them 180 degrees and from upper to lower oven racks halfway through the baking time.  With these cookies I noticed that I preferred the shape, coloration, etc. of the cookies that were on the bottom shelf of the oven to start out and finished on the top shelf.  It made enough of a difference between batches that I think next time I make these, I will bake one sheet per cycle and start each sheet out on the bottom rack. 

Snickerdoodles
Yield: about 30 cookies

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz.) granulated sugar, plus 3 tbsp. for rolling dough
2 large eggs
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon, for rolling dough

Directions: 
Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until well combined, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and beat again until combined, about 30 seconds.  Add in the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 20 seconds.  

In a small, shallow bowl, combine the 3 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon for rolling the dough.  Stir or shake well to combine.  Working with a heaping tablespoon of dough each time, roll the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls.  Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place them on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.  Use a drinking glass with a flat bottom to gently flatten the dough balls to 3/4-inch thickness (butter the bottom of the glass before starting, and dip it in sugar between cookies if it begins to stick).  

Bake until the edges of the cookies are beginning to set and the center are soft and puffy, 9-11 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time.  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets 2-3 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Source: adapted from Baking Illustrated

  • http://telly21182.blogspot.com/ Angie

    What beautiful snickerdoodles. My husband and I LOVE snickerdoodles (he mostly) so I think I’ll need to try out this recipe next time I plan to make some. Possibly on Sunday!

    Also, PS – I love the napkin/placemat/whatever you set the plate of cookies on. My sister in law loves anything with buttons on it (in fact her wedding on Saturday is essentially a button and candy theme!) and she would love something like that… do you mind my asking what it is or where you got it?!

  • http://erinsfoodfiles.blogspot.com/ Erin

    I LOVE Snickerdoodles! For some reason they always remind me of school lunch. Our school system made really good snickerdoodles. I’d get so excited when I saw them on the menu. (Usually… it was pretty much the only thing to ever get excited about when it comes to school lunch.) Those look gorgeous!

  • http://lickedspoon.blogspot.com/ lickedspoon

    Oh, I’m so happy that I’m not the only one who loves it when a cookie or a cake comes out of the oven with a touch of the uglies so it’s not pretty enough to serve. A little cook’s bonus. I’ve never heard of snickerdoodles and would make them for the fabulous name alone, but these look really good.

  • Annie

    Hi Angie!
    Glad you like the placemat – it’s one of my favorites. It is from Crate & Barrel, and we actually got them for our wedding (four years ago today!) So, I doubt they have them anymore since they tend to constantly come up with new linens, etc. However, if you are at all crafty, I think they would be really easy to make on your own if you just bought a set of white placemats. That would be a great gift for your SIL!
    :) Annie

  • oneordinaryday

    I remember making these as my first baking project in home ec in 7th grade. Still love ‘em!

  • http://macaroniandcheesecake.blogspot.com Stephanie

    These look great and I love your tips on the shortening and the bottom rack, etc.

  • http://www.vintagevictuals.com Ellie

    Your snickerdoodles look delicious! I can smell them from here . . .

  • http://baseballbakingandbooks.com ingrid

    Those look absolutely perfect! Fantastic job. I love snickerdoodle-y desserts but have yet to make the actual cookies! :(
    ~ingrid

  • http://www.cookingafterfive.wordpress.com Nicole (Cooking After Five)

    Snickerdoodles are my all-time favorite cookie! These look delicious!

  • http://www.somethingnewiscooking.blogspot.com MIchelle Sturges

    These are one of my favorite cookies!

  • http://www.apotofteaandabiscuit.blogspot.com Sylvie

    Can I have one with a glass of milk, please?!

  • http://www.browneyedbaker.com Chelle

    These look great, I have been wanting to try the BI version since the last ones I made around the holidays weren’t great. Were these more on the chewy or crispy side?

  • Annie

    Chelle,
    I would say these were on the chewier side, which is just how I like them!
    :) Annie

  • http://blissfullydelicious.blogspot.com/ Yudith

    they’re my fave too, Annie!!

  • http://www.wheresmydamnanswer.com Cathy – wheresmydamnanswer

    These look perfect!! WOW.. Bad timing for viewing this post as it is afternoon snack time and one of these babies would so do the trick.

  • http://confectionarycreations.blogspot.com Elyse

    Mmm, these snickerdoodles look incredible!! I love the smell of the cinnamon sugar baking in the oven. Great job! So glad you’ve come around to this cookie. Love your blog!

  • http://asoutherngrace.blogspot.com grace

    i’m so glad you’ve been converted. :)

  • http://www.best-ever-cookie-collection.com Martha

    What a great post and picture about the totally under appreciated snickerdoodle, a simple classic cookie.

    I just read in one of my several cookie cookbooks (The King Arthur Cookie Companion, I think) that for best results cookies should be baked on sheet at a time in the center of the oven. I know it slows things down but cookies really turn out more evenly cooked.

  • http://elizabethscooking.blogspot.com Elizabeth

    What a cute picture!

    I bake cookies in the method you described all the time with pretty much any type of cookie. It works great for chocolate chip cookies, too!

  • http://bakersbakery.wordpress.com Carrie of CKC

    I made these this morning. Amazing!

  • Pingback: Snickerdoodles « Carrie’s Kitchen Creations

  • kate

    I absolutely loved these! i put a shake of cloves in the cinnamon-sugar topping and it turned out pretty good. I also ended up liking the non flattened cookies better than the flattened ones. This is my new snickerdoodle recipe!

  • http://myfivestarrecipes.blogspot.com/ Amber

    These were sooooooo good!!! I am just the world’s worst baker and they were crispy and flat. Grrrr… It may be that I nuked the butter for 10 seconds to get it a little bit soft but not too soft. BUT, the flavor was amazing! They had the perfect amount of cinnamon in them. Thanks for the recipe and if you have any pointers- hook it up!!!

  • Annie

    Hi Amber,
    I pretty much always put my butter in the microwave to get it the right consistency for baking, so I don’t think that was the problem. I’m not sure what went wrong for you. That’s always a tough question to answer since I wasn’t there to see what happened. Glad they at least tasted good!

  • Melissa

    Hi Annie,

    Since I tend to only use regular all purpose flour, is it okay to not use unbleached flour?

  • Annie

    Yes, it’s fine.

  • Brittany

    Hi Annie,

    I just made these cookies today, and THE SAME THING happened to me with just one cookie randomly spreading out and becoming very mis-shaped! That’s weird the same happened to you! I wonder if it was something about the amount of butter vs. shortening like you said, but that seems strange since I’m sure the dough was mixed well. Oh well! They were light and delicious as I expected :)

    As usual, thanks for sharing!

  • Shannon

    These were a dud for me as well unfortunately. They flattened out a great deal while baking. I tried not flattening the second batch at all with a glass and it still made no difference.

  • Danielle

    If I wanted to make cookie sandwiches out of these what do you think would be a good filling?