Snickerdoodles are by far my favorite cookie. There is something homey and comforting about cinnamon and sugar. For me, these cookies are inherently New England. They hearken back to my childhood days spent roaming the grounds of the Mystic Seaport in my home state of Connecticut. I would sit—short legs swinging on edge of the wooden bench—eating my soft cookie, looking up at the tall masts of the old whaling ships docked there and feel perfect contentment. Learning to make my childhood favorite was a full–circle experience.
- ½ Cup Butter or Margarine (Softened) – I use butter.
- ½ Cup Shortening (I use butter flavored shortening)
- 1 ½ Cup Sugar
- 2 ¾ Cup All Purpose Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Cream of Tartar
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- You will also need cinnamon and sugar for topping.
Steps: Pre-heat oven to 400º. In a large bowl, with either a whisk or mixer, blend thoroughly: butter, shortening, sugar and the eggs until fluffy. In a smaller bowl combine: flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Slowly mix flour mixture into the butter/sugar mixture. Chill dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
While the dough is chilling, mix 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
Once the dough has chilled. Scoop a tablespoon of dough and shape it into a ball using your hands. Roll dough balls in the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Place dough ball on a aluminum sheet pan (ungreased). Repeat until all the dough is used. (Note: Leave space between the balls. They will spread/melt as they cook.) I find I can fit 9 cookies on a half-sheet cookie pan. Bake for 6-8 minutes until lightly golden brown.
While the cookies bake, cut open 3 brown paper lunch bags and spread them out on a counter or table. Place baked cookies on the brown paper so some of the grease will be absorbed. After cookies are cool place on a plate or in a cookie tin.
A Tip: If you like a chewy cookie, take the pan out about a minute before they are fully cooked. The tops of the cookies will look puffy and be very soft to the touch in the center. (If the centers still look gummy don’t take them out yet. There is after all a difference between chewy and raw.) After you take the pan out, leave the cookies on the pan and let the pan sit on the top of the oven for 1 minute so the cookies can finish baking at a low temp from the residual heat in the pan. This pause will also give the cookies a minute to firm up a bit so you can get them off the pan. They will be very soft and pliable when you put them on the brown paper but they will become firmer as they cool.
A Word on Pans: I always favor aluminum pans as compared to non-stick. Teflon heats up faster and burns the bottom of the cookies.