I went on a huge snickerdoodle frenzy a while back, trying to find the perfect recipe. After many attempts, I gave up. Maybe I was trying too hard.
But recently, my cousin Carol asked me if I had a good snickerdoodle recipe, so I decided to give it a go one more time. This time, I remembered that my friend Kate had given me her mom’s snickerdoodle recipe a couple of years ago. I had asked for it, because I tried the ones that Kate made, and they were delicious! I noticed that the recipe didn’t have cream of tartar in it, so I dismissed the recipe as not being an authentic snickerdoodle, somehow ignoring the fact that they were really very good!
So I read up on snickerdoodles, and it turns out that you can replace cream of tartar and baking soda (they usually come as a pair) with baking powder, and vice versa. So I made Kate’s mom’s recipe, replacing the baking powder with cream of tartar and baking soda, and they were lovely! Homey and delicate. Crisp on the edges, crinkly on top, soft in the middle, with the signature tang that comes from cream of tartar. A cozy cookie.
And after a bit of research, I come to find out that this recipe is fairly standard. I’m mystified at how I didn’t just come to this recipe the first time.
So here’s where I get in trouble. I want to make them extra special, so I make another batch, and roll them twice or three times in the cinnamon sugar, so they are extra cinnamon-y, and I bake them at a slightly higher heat to make them extra crispy on the bottom. My entire family whole heartedly (is that a word?) agreed that the first batch was better. [Sigh] Sometimes the original is just very good and simple and no changes are necessary. I get upset when I go to a restaurant and I order scrambled eggs and potatoes, and everything is overly spiced and trying to be exotic. I just want plain old scrambled eggs, and I don’t want them to taste like something else. And my family just wants homey and comforting snickerdoodles, not some fancied up version. I get it.
So here is my recipe for Snickerdoodles, slightly adapted from Kate’s mom’s recipe.
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 3/4 cups (12.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup sugar mixed with 1 Tbsp (or more) cinnamon (for rolling)
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes or so.
Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and baking soda.
Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Don’t over mix!
Cover and chill dough in fridge for at least two hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400°.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop out cookie dough into 1 1/2 Tbsp balls and roll in cinnamon sugar.
Place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
Flatten balls with your hand just a little bit – cookies should still be thick.
Bake one tray at a time on center rack in 400° oven for about ten minutes. Edges should start to brown a bit.
Let cookies rest on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely.