Classic Snickerdoodle Recipe: A Delightfully Cinnamon-Sugar Cookie

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Snickerdoodles, the classic cookies loved by kids and adults alike, are a timeless treat with their perfect balance of crispiness on the outside and soft, chewy goodness on the inside. This recipe stays true to the traditional flavors, offering a delightful blend of cinnamon and sugar.

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Classic Snickerdoodle Recipe: A Delightfully Cinnamon-Sugar Cookie

The History of Snickerdoodles:

Snickerdoodles have a rich history dating back to the 1900s, as documented in my MIL’s church cookbook. And let’s not argue with grandmas on matters like these! Interestingly, the name “Snickerdoodle” is derived from the German pastry known as “Schneckennudeln,” which translates to “Snail noodles.” This whimsical name adds to the cookie’s appeal, especially among children.

Perfecting the Snickerdoodle Recipe:

After testing various iterations of the classic recipe and enlisting the help of six recipe testers, we have discovered the perfect Snickerdoodle. But first, let’s explore the modifications made to the original recipes:

  1. Using a combination of butter and shortening in equal proportions.
  2. Utilizing freshly ground cinnamon in the sugar mixture.
  3. Baking for either 8 minutes (with a 3-tablespoon scoop) or 6 minutes (with a 1-tablespoon scoop).

Classic Snickerdoodle Recipe: A Delightfully Cinnamon-Sugar Cookie

The Results:

Here’s what our recipe testers had to say about each variation:

  1. This flat and crispy cookie had a unique appeal. Although it was slightly less flavorful due to its flattened shape, the center remained surprisingly soft. It gained more flavor and texture on the second day.
  2. While delicious, this version tended to be a bit dry. The cookies puffed up but eventually fell, compromising their appearance. However, the flavor was still delightful.
  3. The all-butter version was a hit! The cookies had crispy edges and a soft center. Although the centers fell slightly, the overall flavor made up for it.
  4. If using this variation, we recommend the larger scoop (3 tablespoons). The smaller cookies seemed to be slightly drier in comparison.
  5. Chilling the dough proved to be a bit challenging, and the cinnamon sugar didn’t cover every nook and cranny. However, these cookies had a fantastic texture, with crispy edges and a gooey center.
  6. The winner! These cookies had an incredible flavor, slightly crispy edges, and a perfectly soft center. This version embodied the ideal Snickerdoodle experience, complete with a delightful crack on top.

Classic Snickerdoodle Recipe: A Delightfully Cinnamon-Sugar Cookie

Distinguishing Snickerdoodles from Sugar Cookies:

Apart from the clear distinction of cinnamon, Snickerdoodles derive their unique flavor from the addition of cream of tartar.

The Role of Cream of Tartar:

Cream of tartar is an intriguing ingredient that not only acts as a stabilizer but also adds a distinct tanginess to Snickerdoodles. It plays a vital role in the chemical reaction with baking soda, resulting in the desired chewy texture. A fun fact: You can substitute cream of tartar with fresh lemon juice, using 2 teaspoons of lemon juice for every 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar.

Classic Snickerdoodle Recipe: A Delightfully Cinnamon-Sugar Cookie

Best Tips for Making Snickerdoodles:

To make the process smoother, we highly recommend scooping out all the dough balls first before rolling them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Here are some additional tips to enhance your Snickerdoodle baking experience:

Scooping and Rolling: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop out all the dough balls. Once you have them ready, it becomes easier to roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, ensuring a smooth coating. Place the coated dough balls on another parchment-lined baking sheet.

Cinnamon-Sugar Ratio: The recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of sugar and 3 teaspoons of ground cinnamon to roll the dough balls. Surprisingly, this amount is sufficient to cover all 54 cookies perfectly, so no need to worry about running out.

Size Matters: After testing both a 3-tablespoon scoop and a 1-tablespoon scoop, we found that the smaller size worked best. Using 3 tablespoons of dough resulted in cookies that were too large and challenging to cook evenly.

Freezing Snickerdoodle Cookies:

Yes, you can freeze Snickerdoodle dough for later use. It’s especially convenient when making double batches or preparing ahead of time. Here’s how to freeze Snickerdoodles:

Pre-portioned Dough: Prepare the dough as per the recipe instructions, and scoop the dough balls onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. They can be placed close together. Put the cookie sheet in the freezer for about two hours, or until the dough is cold. Then transfer the frozen dough balls into an airtight freezer bag or container that fits in your freezer.

Preparing Frozen Dough: When you’re ready to bake, remove the dough balls from the freezer and place them in the refrigerator overnight. This allows them to thaw gradually. The next day, roll the dough balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and bake according to the recipe instructions.

Freezing Baked Cookies: If you prefer, you can also freeze the cookies after they have been baked. Ensure they have cooled completely, then place them in the freezer until they are solid. Transfer the frozen cookies to freezer-safe containers, separating the layers with parchment paper. These frozen cookies will stay fresh for up to 3 months.

Conclusion:

With its irresistible blend of cinnamon and sugar, the Snickerdoodle cookie remains a timeless favorite. By following our perfected recipe and tips, you can achieve the ideal texture and flavor in each batch. Whether you enjoy them fresh from the oven or freeze them for later, these Snickerdoodles are sure to bring joy to every cookie lover. Happy baking!

Classic Snickerdoodle Recipe: A Delightfully Cinnamon-Sugar Cookie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 226g) unsalted butter, softened but not melted
  • 1½ cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2¾ cups (352g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Cinnamon Sugar:

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Instructions:

Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough:

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line three cookie sheets with parchment paper or use Silpat.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand-held mixer on the highest setting), cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar for approximately 2-3 minutes until well combined.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract. Mix until fully incorporated.
  • With the mixer on low (or off), add the all-purpose flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Mix until the ingredients are well combined.
  • Using a 1-tablespoon scoop, scoop out rounded balls of dough and place them close together on one of the prepared cookie sheets.

Cinnamon Sugar:

  • In a wide bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 3 teaspoons of ground cinnamon. You can use a fork or a small whisk to mix them thoroughly.

Assembly:

  • Take each dough ball and roll it in the cinnamon-sugar mixture until it is evenly coated.
  • Place the coated dough balls on the parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving approximately 2 inches of space between each cookie.

Baking:

Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the edges turn golden brown.
Carefully remove the cookies from the baking sheets immediately and transfer them to a cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely.

Freezing Snickerdoodle Cookies:

If you want to freeze the dough, prepare it according to the recipe instructions and scoop the dough balls onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Place the sheet in the freezer for about two hours, or until the dough is cold.

Transfer the frozen dough balls to an airtight freezer bag or container that fits in your freezer. Remember to label and date the container.

When you’re ready to bake, thaw the dough balls by placing them in the refrigerator overnight. Then roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and bake as directed.

To freeze baked cookies, ensure they have cooled completely. Place them in the freezer until they are solid, and then transfer them to freezer-safe containers, separated by parchment paper.

Classic Snickerdoodle Recipe: A Delightfully Cinnamon-Sugar Cookie

Now you have a delicious batch of Snickerdoodle cookies to enjoy or freeze for later. Whether you’re savoring their cinnamon-sugar goodness fresh from the oven or indulging in a pre-frozen treat, these cookies are sure to satisfy your cravings. Happy baking and freezing!

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