I love all sorts of cookies, but I’ve never been very drawn to snickerdoodles.  I’m not sure why, given the cinnamon sugar coating is something I just LOVE on other things (like these muffins).  I suppose maybe it is because when I see them in a dessert case up against a giant chocolate chip cookie, a cookie full of M&Ms (my favorite candy), or some triple-super-duper-chocolatey concoction, they just seem sort of plain.  Well, that perception has now been set straight in my mind.  I *love* these snickerdoodles.  I baked them last week for Ben’s parent night as I mentioned before, and they looked and smelled so amazing that I was pretty upset about having to send them all off to school with him.  Thankfully, one of the cookies decided to mysteriously spread out into a bizarre and unattractive cookie, so I kept that one for us to sample.  It tasted phenomenal – and that was the bad one!  I will definitely make another batch very soon so I can enjoy at least two (or maybe more! 😉 )  

Normally almost any time a recipe calls for shortening, I inevitably substitute with butter, but the text before the recipe in the cookbook discusses the fact that the shortening is important in this recipe to help the cookies retain their shape and not spread too much (maybe the one I ate was mostly butter?)  Another thing to note is that usually, I bake two sheets of cookies at the same time and rotate them 180 degrees and from upper to lower oven racks halfway through the baking time.  With these cookies I noticed that I preferred the shape, coloration, etc. of the cookies that were on the bottom shelf of the oven to start out and finished on the top shelf.  It made enough of a difference between batches that I think next time I make these, I will bake one sheet per cycle and start each sheet out on the bottom rack. 

Yield: about 30 cookies

2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz.) granulated sugar, plus 3 tbsp. for rolling dough
2 large eggs
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon, for rolling dough

Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until well combined, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and beat again until combined, about 30 seconds.  Add in the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 20 seconds.  

In a small, shallow bowl, combine the 3 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon for rolling the dough.  Stir or shake well to combine.  Working with a heaping tablespoon of dough each time, roll the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls.  Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place them on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.  Use a drinking glass with a flat bottom to gently flatten the dough balls to 3/4-inch thickness (butter the bottom of the glass before starting, and dip it in sugar between cookies if it begins to stick).  

Bake until the edges of the cookies are beginning to set and the center are soft and puffy, 9-11 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time.  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets 2-3 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Source: adapted from Baking Illustrated

28 Responses

  1. What beautiful snickerdoodles. My husband and I LOVE snickerdoodles (he mostly) so I think I’ll need to try out this recipe next time I plan to make some. Possibly on Sunday!

    Also, PS – I love the napkin/placemat/whatever you set the plate of cookies on. My sister in law loves anything with buttons on it (in fact her wedding on Saturday is essentially a button and candy theme!) and she would love something like that… do you mind my asking what it is or where you got it?!

    • Hi Angie!
      Glad you like the placemat – it’s one of my favorites. It is from Crate & Barrel, and we actually got them for our wedding (four years ago today!) So, I doubt they have them anymore since they tend to constantly come up with new linens, etc. However, if you are at all crafty, I think they would be really easy to make on your own if you just bought a set of white placemats. That would be a great gift for your SIL!
      🙂 Annie

  2. I LOVE Snickerdoodles! For some reason they always remind me of school lunch. Our school system made really good snickerdoodles. I’d get so excited when I saw them on the menu. (Usually… it was pretty much the only thing to ever get excited about when it comes to school lunch.) Those look gorgeous!

  3. Oh, I’m so happy that I’m not the only one who loves it when a cookie or a cake comes out of the oven with a touch of the uglies so it’s not pretty enough to serve. A little cook’s bonus. I’ve never heard of snickerdoodles and would make them for the fabulous name alone, but these look really good.

  4. I remember making these as my first baking project in home ec in 7th grade. Still love ’em!

  5. These look great and I love your tips on the shortening and the bottom rack, etc.

  6. Your snickerdoodles look delicious! I can smell them from here . . .

  7. Those look absolutely perfect! Fantastic job. I love snickerdoodle-y desserts but have yet to make the actual cookies! 😦

  8. Snickerdoodles are my all-time favorite cookie! These look delicious!

  9. These are one of my favorite cookies!

  10. Can I have one with a glass of milk, please?!

  11. These look great, I have been wanting to try the BI version since the last ones I made around the holidays weren’t great. Were these more on the chewy or crispy side?

    • Chelle,
      I would say these were on the chewier side, which is just how I like them!
      🙂 Annie

  12. they’re my fave too, Annie!!

  13. These look perfect!! WOW.. Bad timing for viewing this post as it is afternoon snack time and one of these babies would so do the trick.

  14. Mmm, these snickerdoodles look incredible!! I love the smell of the cinnamon sugar baking in the oven. Great job! So glad you’ve come around to this cookie. Love your blog!

  15. i’m so glad you’ve been converted. 🙂

  16. What a great post and picture about the totally under appreciated snickerdoodle, a simple classic cookie.

    I just read in one of my several cookie cookbooks (The King Arthur Cookie Companion, I think) that for best results cookies should be baked on sheet at a time in the center of the oven. I know it slows things down but cookies really turn out more evenly cooked.

  17. What a cute picture!

    I bake cookies in the method you described all the time with pretty much any type of cookie. It works great for chocolate chip cookies, too!

  18. I made these this morning. Amazing!

  19. […] Posted on June 3, 2009 by Carrie of CKC After I read Annie’s post about Snickerdoodles, it occurred to me that I had never had one.  Ever.  After mentioning this to Brad, he admitted […]

  20. I absolutely loved these! i put a shake of cloves in the cinnamon-sugar topping and it turned out pretty good. I also ended up liking the non flattened cookies better than the flattened ones. This is my new snickerdoodle recipe!

  21. These were sooooooo good!!! I am just the world’s worst baker and they were crispy and flat. Grrrr… It may be that I nuked the butter for 10 seconds to get it a little bit soft but not too soft. BUT, the flavor was amazing! They had the perfect amount of cinnamon in them. Thanks for the recipe and if you have any pointers- hook it up!!!

    • Hi Amber,
      I pretty much always put my butter in the microwave to get it the right consistency for baking, so I don’t think that was the problem. I’m not sure what went wrong for you. That’s always a tough question to answer since I wasn’t there to see what happened. Glad they at least tasted good!

  22. Hi Annie,

    Since I tend to only use regular all purpose flour, is it okay to not use unbleached flour?

  23. Annie,
    These are wonderful!! I love snickerdoodles and I just had to try this recipe. My friends loved them! My mom said it was “a bite of heaven.” As I did not have enough ingredients for the icing, I just took some store-bought vanilla icing and swirled it with some cinnamon. I omitted the cookies (once again, due to the lack of ingredients), but I’m sure they would have been delicious with the cupcake. Thanks!

  24. I was on the hunt for a good snickerdoodle recipe. Having high hopes and wanting the best, I looked in several places and then it occurred to me. Why bother starting my search anywhere but Annie’s Eats? Yup, my search started and ended right here. These are phenomenal snickerdoodles. I’m used to puffier ones, but I can forgive a little flatness for such incredible, melt-in-your-mouth flavor!! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!

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