This is, hands-down, the best recipe for snickerdoodles you’ll find! They are super soft and chewy with a gorgeous crinkly topping perfect for holding in pockets of delicious cinnamon. Included below are a few quick tips for recreating these beauties time and again!
Snickerdoodles are a cookie classic – soft, tender butter cookies with a slight tang and chewy texture that are rolled in cinnamon-sugar and baked. A holiday staple, for sure, but also an every day, any day kind of cookie, as well!
Everyone and anyone has a recipe for snickerdoodles, but I’m here today to tell you that these are the absolute best of the best. They puff in the oven and then settle back down while cooling into a soft, thick, supremely chewy cookie with a gorgeous crinkly top. They’ve received nothing but rave reviews!
Snickerdoodle is sort of a strange name, yes?
I’ve often wondered how the name originated and when I started doing some research, it seems there are a few different theories. All seem to agree that the name is German in origin; the cookies seem to have surfaced in New England in the late 1800s, likely from someone of either German or Dutch descent.
The cookies have also been called snipdoodles or cinnamon sugar cookies, but no direct German translation seems to make sense, so it may just be a little bit of a whimsical spin on a couple of different words.
Snickerdoodles vs sugar cookies
Some think of snickerdoodles as simply drop sugar cookies that have been rolled in cinnamon-sugar, but this oversimplification is far from accurate.
While both cookies have the same basic list of ingredients (butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, and baking powder/soda), there is one key ingredient in snickerdoodles that turns them into something altogether different:
Cream of Tartar
This magical little ingredient does two things to make snickerdoodles, well… snickerdoodles:
It is an acid, so its presence gives the cookies that ever-so-slight tangy flavor.
Also because it’s an acid, it helps to create a more tender texture, keeping the cookies both soft and chewy, which is a texture combination you don’t find in traditional sugar cookies.
A few quick tips!
Chill, chill, chill! – Be sure to follow the chilling instructions for the pan and dough. It helps the cookies hold their shape and not spread.
Baking Pans Prep – I recommend using parchment paper to line the pans to eliminate any possibility of the cookies spreading.
Cream of Tartar – This is a key ingredient in snickerdoodles, but if you find yourself in a serious pinch, you can use 2 teaspoons baking powder and omit BOTH the cream of tartar AND the baking soda. Just remember the flavor will be slightly different.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a baking mat and put in refrigerator to chill.
Whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
Gradually stir in the flour mixture, beating on low speed just until the flour is blended.
Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
In the meantime, mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Scoop 1-inch balls of dough and roll in the cinnamon and sugar mixture to coat.
Place on chilled cookie sheet about 2 inches apart and bake for 10 minutes.
Chill the dough and cookie sheets between batches.
Let cookies set on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack. Store cookies in an airtight container.
Chill, chill, chill! - Be sure to follow the chilling instructions for the pan and dough. It helps the cookies hold their shape and not spread.
Baking Pans Prep - I recommend using parchment paper to line the pans to eliminate any possibility of the cookies spreading.
Cream of Tartar - This is a key ingredient in snickerdoodles, but if you find yourself in a serious pinch, you can use 2 teaspoons baking powder and omit BOTH the cream of tartar AND the baking soda. Just remember the flavor will be slightly different.