The first time I ever heard of snicker doodles, I thought, what a cute name! It’s like one of those names that practically screams happiness; as if anytime soon, someone will just swoop right in riding on a unicorn, eating a snicker doodle with an upturned pinky, all rainbows and butterflies. At the time I had no idea what a snicker doodle tasted, let alone looked, like, but I liked it. I liked the sound of it.
Snicker = a half-suppressed laugh (I never could properly suppress mine!)
Doodle = absent-minded scribbles and drawings (one of the things I do best haha!)
Later on I would find out that most snicker doodles were baked with some amount of shortening, and that kind of burst my bubble a little bit since I try to avoid the candle-like grease as much as possible (sometimes a pie crust tastes better with a little bit of shortening though). Doesn’t make it any less delicious though. You can even ask one of my best friends who happened to come over on the day I made snicker doodles for the first time.
A year ago, if memory serves me correctly. I remember they came out ginormous, because I had no idea they would spread like crazy. But they were eaten with much fervor (I think about 3 giant cookies were devoured in a matter of minutes), and were even taken home in a doggie bag.
Fast forward to today, and I don’t even know why I haven’t attempted any snicker doodles between then and now. But when I came across it as I was browsing through Alice Medrich’s wonderful cookie book, all the good feelings upon reading the name came back. Plus the cookies in her version are made mainly with butter, which is a lot more comforting than the thought of eating shortening. On both counts, my favourite part was rolling the balls of dough into the sugar. They remind me of little balls of sunshine being rolled into a bowl of gold glitter.
These were absolutely fantastic fresh from the oven, where they take on this wonderful crunch around the edge while remaining puffy and cakey in the middle. And although I might use a little less sugar next time, the taste of cinnamon was just perfect.
Makes about 60 (2-1/2-inch) cookies
- 3 cups (13.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line with parchment or silpat, or grease cookie sheets.
- 2. Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and mix thoroughly with a whisk or fork.
- 3. In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter with 1 1/2 cups of sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in the eggs just until blended.
- 4. Add the flour mixture and stir or beat on low speed just until incorporated.
- 5. Gather the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.
- 6. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl.
- 7. Form level teaspoons of dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar and place 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.
- 8. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookies puff and begin to settle down. Rotate cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.
- 9. Cool the cookies completely before stacking or storing. They keep for several days in an airtight container.