How to Make Snickerdoodle Cookies

I’m not sure which is the first cookie I ever baked by myself: it was either classic chocolate chip, or Snickerdoodles. I remember having just moved to Connecticut when I was 7, and making them in our little classroom kitchen area with my teacher and thinking, “school isn’t so bad!”

Snickerdoodles

What is the Difference Between Sugar Cookies and Snickerdoodles?

Snickerdoodles are usually thicker and softer in the middle than sugar cookies, though if you bake them for longer, they will definitely crisp up. Sugar cookies are often rolled in sugar before baking, while snickerdoodles are usually rolled in a cinnamon sugar mixture. Snickerdoodles may crack a bit on the tip, while sugar cookies are usually smooth.

The name snickerdoodles may be an alternation of a German word:  “Schneckennudeln” which means “crinkly cookie”.

I think of snickerdoodles as cakey, and kind of soft, kind of chewy. Snickerdoodles are traditionally kind of puffy and domed.  If you like a flatter cookie, press down on the balls with your hand or the bottom of a glass.

Cinnamon Sugar Coating for Sickerdoodles

The main difference between sugar cookies and snickerdoodle cookies is really the cream of tartar in the cookie dough and the combo of sugar and ground cinnamon that the balls of cookie dough are rolled in just before baking. This light coating provides cinnamon-iness (duh), some color, and a little crunch that contrasts very nicely with the delicate, soft interior.

Snickerdoodles

Cream of Tartar in Snickerdoodles

Part of why Snickerdoodles are so tender is thanks to the cream of tartar. It activates the baking soda, which gives these cookies a different texture than straight butter or sugar cookies. The cream of tartar is offers a slightly tangy flavor.

Snickerdoodles

Freezing Snickerdoodles

You can freeze snickerdoodle cookies for up to 3 months in freezer proof zipper top plastic bags with all of the air squeezed out. Remember to label them with the name of the cookie and date. Defrost them at room temperature for a few hours before serving.

What to Serve With Snickerdoodles?

A big old class of milk! Or coffee, or tea.

Snickerdoodles

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Snickerdoodles

The classic: tender, cakey, soft cookies with that quintessential cinnamon sugar coating for a bit of crunch.
Yield: 20 Cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, if you have it, otherwise leave it ungreased. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and ¾ cup of the sugar for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed. Beat in the egg until completely incorporated, then beat in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low, beat in the flour mixture until incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Place the remaining ¼ cup sugar and the cinnamon in a shallow bowl and stir to combine. Troll the batter into 1 ½-inch balls, then roll the balls in the sugar mixture, working in batches. Place them on the baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart. If you like a flatter cookies, press down on the balls with your hand or the bottom of a glass.
  • Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the sheets midway if you are baking more than one sheet at a time, so that both sheets have a chance to be on the upper rack.
  • Transfer the snickerdoodles to a wire rack to cool.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 90mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 296IU | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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Comments

    1. a whisk is probably not powerful enough to really blend the dough, so you are better off with a mixing spoon (and some stamina!)

  1. When I want a soft, chewy cookie, it’s a tossup between these snickerdoodles and your sugar cookies. The cinnamon and sugar cookies take me back to my grandma’s kitchen. They are a teacher favorite for the school cookie jar

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