After a brief divergence, we're back into the land of classic cookie recipes. Admittedly, snickerdoodles were pretty low on my list of baking interests until fairly recently. They just seemed a bit boring. Where's the chocolate? The sprinkles? The pizazz?
But, as I've grown and matured in the baking world, I've more often found myself stepping away from the realm of razzle dazzle. I frquently find myself plastering a recipe with toppings and oddities for the sake of entertainment, only to find it was better in its basic incarnation. Rather than pizazz, I now lean more toward focus and refinement.
So, while these aren't 100% traditional, let's discuss the things that make this snickerdoodle so doodle-y:
- Cream of tartar - this gives the cookies a kick of tangy flavor as well as some extra soft, chewy texture that is usually lost in cookie recipes lacking brown sugar.
- Higher oven temperature - this causes the cookies to puff up more during the early stages of baking and establish more upright shape than usual.
- Higher flour content - this gives the cookies more structure. Less sticky, more doughy. As a result, the dough doesn't require chilling to hold shape, and makes it much easier to roll the individual cookie balls in cinnamon sugar.
- Cinnamon - is awesome.
Recipe makes 24 medium cookies
- 210g (1 & 3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 & 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 115g (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 150g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 50g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats and pre-heat oven to 375°F.
- Combine the dry ingredients. Sift flour, cream of tartar, cinnamon and baking soda into a mixing bowl and whisk together with salt until evenly distributed. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix additional sugar and cinnamon for topping. Set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar together using an electric mixer at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add egg and vanilla to butter/sugar mixture and lightly beat with electric mixer on low speed until just combined.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until just combined. Do not over-mix.
- Scoop or roll out cookie dough into 1.5 tbsp balls, roll in cinnamon sugar mixture, and place on baking sheets. Remember to leave space between dough balls, as they will spread some while baking.*
- Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until edges are set and golden brown and centers begin to crack. This should take 8-10 minutes, depending on your oven. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through baking to ensure more even heating.
- Remove cookies from the oven and place the hot baking sheet on a wire rack to cool. When cookies have started to firm up (5-10 minutes), remove them from the sheet and place on another wire rack to cool completely.
Prep ahead tip: Balls of cookie dough freeze nicely. You can then bake the frozen dough balls without thawing; just add a couple minutes to the baking time. Baked cookies can be frozen as well - make sure that they're completely cooled and free of moisture before freezing.
* These cookies don't spread as much as most. If you're a snickerdoodle heretic like me, you can press the cookies down a bit flatter before baking to get cookies like the ones pictured here.