The humble sweet and spicy Snickerdoodle – some will giggle at the name and I hope you do! There is nothing but fun about these lovely cinnamon sugar cookies.
My favorite memories of these are from my Grandma Noner’s kitchen. A woman from Tennessee in Appalachia (read proud hillbilly! and an amazing cook, it seems appropriate that I mention her first on this blog with a recipe rumoured to be both American and German in origin, which were branches of her roots! Anything she baked tasted like it was from heaven and these were no exception.
I have not had them for years (a sad state of affairs I must say) and was inspired to bake them with a friend of mine who wanted a baking project for the day. Something about them screams Autumn so what better time than now to break them out of the recipe box for a long overdue reunion!
Now, a little tip – a true Snickerdoodle requires that you use cream of tartar and baking soda, however in a pinch, you can use a teaspoon of baking powder to leaven these cookies, omitting the cream of tartar and soda. I would, however, recommend that you try the real McCoy! We made about three dozen from this batch, which is a good thing because we easily ate 5 each before the day was out…
Makes three dozen
Preheat oven to 190°c/375ºf
225g/1 cup/2 sticks salted butter, softened
250g/ 1 and a scant 1/3 cup caster sugar
2 medium eggs
1 1/2 tsp good vanilla extract
3 cups/ 380g plain flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
For the cinnamon sugar
50g/ 1/4 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
In a deep medium bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar electric beaters or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle until light and fluffy – this means that the color of the butter turns pale and the butter is really whipped. Don’t be tempted to move on to the next step until it is really fluffy or you wont be able to mix in the flour effectively.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and cinnamon until evenly distributed.
Beat in the eggs one at a time until combined and then beat in the vanilla.
Beat in the flour in two to three batches (you may need to mix it by hand at the end) until thoroughly combined. You should now have a smooth, thick dough.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and roll the dough into balls a little smaller than golf balls and roll in the cinnamon sugar mix. Line them up on the baking sheet and lightly press the tops down to create an indent, which will help give them the right shape. You should be able to get a dozen onto each sheet, leaving plenty of space for the dough to spread as it bakes.
Bake for 9-12 minutes. I generally go for a less done centre as I like them soft, so stick to the 9 minutes, but it depends how hot your oven is so check and see. They should not color too much in the oven but rather come out pale golden without any dark patches, which would indicate that there is still raw dough in the center.