Here is a classic cookie recipe for you – Snickerdoodles. I mentioned on my Facebook page that these were in my annual Christmas cookie repertoire when someone asked what they were, and I realized that they aren’t really just a classic cookie, they are a classic American cookie recipe. And, though this is something I never expected when I started this blog, people all over the world read it and chat with me on Facebook. So I posted a link to the recipe I use (definitely not an original of mine), and I had a little Facebook chat about how everyone likes their Snickerdoodles – thick and chewy or thin and crispy.
As I said, this is not my recipe – it is Betty Crocker’s. Though I do have my own specific technique to ensure that these cookies come out exactly as my Dad likes them. You see, he is the main reason I make them (though over the years, my sister has developed a fondness for them, too). Dad is in the thin and crispy camp. It took me a few years to work on it, but now I have the technique down. First, Betty does seem to have a few slight variations of the recipe floating around between the different cookbooks and websites – I use the half butter, half shortening version. Then, there is no mention of chilling the dough or patting down the dough balls, but all the photos show a puffier cookie. I do both.
Now I have achieved perfection, if, in your opinion, Snickerdoodle perfection looks like this…
In fact, several years back, my dad admitted that my Snickerdoodles had finally surpassed my grandmother’s. This was not my goal, but to hear those words – well, it’s enough to make a daughter and aspiring baker to grin from ear to ear.
If you like your Snickerdoodles thicker and chewier, use all butter and don’t smush down the dough balls. I guarantee they will still taste good. I just know my Dad won’t love them as much (though I doubt he will really shun any Snickerdoodle). And really, when I make them, that is all that matters to me. He’ll be getting at least a dozen and a half from this batch, and I know he will love every bite.
So, have you had a Snickerdoodle? Do you like them thick and chewy or thin and crispy?
- 2¾ c all purpose flour
- 2 t cream of tartar
- 1 t baking soda
- ¼ t salt
- ½ c vegetable shortening
- ½ c (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1½ c sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 T sugar
- 3 t cinnamon
- Whisk or sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of your mixer, cream the shortening, butter, and sugar at medium high speed thoroughly until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, and mix thoroughly.
- Reduce mixer speed to low, and slowly add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
- Place dough in the refrigerator until just cool enough to handle and roll into balls, about 15-30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.
- Using a small scoop or about 1 tablespoon of dough, form balls, and roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat all sides.
- Place dough balls about two inches apart on a cookie sheet.
- Just before baking, take your three middle fingers and press the balls down slightly, until they are about a half inch thick.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until barely set and slightly golden. They will puff up at first while baking, then flatten out.
- Cool for a few minutes on the pan, then remove and cool completely on cooling racks.
Also, I wanted to remind you that I will be participating in Cookies & Crafts for Sandy Hook. Find out more about it HERE, where you can find links to make a donation to Newtown Youth and Family Services, Inc., as well as links to businesses and Etsy shops that are donating a portion of their proceeds to the victims. If you have a blog, you can participate by writing a post sharing a cookie or craft, and a tribute to Sandy Hook Elementary School. If you don’t have a blog, you can still share something – take a picture and post it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Google+, using the hashtag #BloggersforSandyHook.
Please spread the word about this united effort wherever you can!