Snickerdoodles

PJ Hamel writes about her version of the snickerdoodle: "I made these and put them out for taste-testing. The comments ranged from 'Great taste, but they need to be chewy,' and 'I like mine soft,' to 'Yes! This is a real snickerdoodle!' Obviously, there's no real snickerdoodle; each person's version is his or her own reality."
Prep
30 mins
Bake
11 to 12 mins
Total
41 mins
Yield
about 40 medium cookies
Snickerdoodles

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the shortening and sugar until smooth, then beat in the eggs, again beating until smooth. The mixture will become lighter, and lighter-colored, as you beat; this is the result of air being absorbed.
  3. Beat in the vanilla, cream of tartar, baking soda (or baking powder, in place of the cream of tartar and soda), and salt, then add the flour, mixing slowly until combined.
  4. Place about 1/2 cup cinnamon-sugar in an 8" or 9" round cake pan.
  5. Drop the soft dough by tablespoonfuls into the pan with the sugar, about 6 to 8 balls at a time. Gently shake the pan to coat the dough balls with sugar.
  6. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2" between them. Using the bottom of a glass, flatten each cookie until it's about 1/2" thick. Repeat until you've used up all the dough.
  7. Bake the snickerdoodles for 11 to 12 minutes, reversing the position of the pans (top to bottom, and back to front) midway through.
  8. Remove the cookies from the oven once they're set and just starting to turn golden. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
  9. Store cookies, tightly wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • For caramel-stuffed snickerdoodles, place a gumball-sized piece of soft caramel into the center of each ball of dough before rolling in cinnamon-sugar. See our blog post for complete instructions.
  • To make the coating, mix cinnamon and sugar until you've got just the flavor and color you want; if you have no idea where to begin, try 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon mixed with 1/4 cup sugar, which makes a "middle-of-the-road" version of cinnamon-sugar.