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Your search for the best Snickerdoodle Cookies recipe is over! This easy snickerdoodle recipe is my go-to for this cinnamon-sugar coated, soft and chewy sugar cookie recipe that is a perennial classic!
According to some sources, the snickerdoodle is the state cookie of Connecticut. Which is why I'm sharing my favorite snickerdoodle cookie recipe as part of Connecticut Week in my American Eats series, where I share some of the most well-known or iconic foods and flavors from each state in the USA, one state at a time.
Other sources claim that a spice cookie is the state cookie of Connecticut.
Regardless of legitimized status as an official cookie, love abounds for the classic snickerdoodle cookie, not just in Connecticut but across the country.
What do Snickerdoodles taste like?
Snickerdoodles are (or should be) a soft, buttery cookie loaded with cinnamon and sugar and having a distinctive and unique tang from a not-so-secret ingredient: cream of tartar.
I love this chewy snickerdoodle recipe because unlike so many snickerdoodles I've had over the course of my life, these stay soft and chewy instead of getting thin and crispy and dry.
The real key to a soft and chewy snickerdoodle cookie is to not overbake. In fact, I underbake these a little, to the point that they don't crack on top, which is a hallmark of some snickerdoodle cookie recipes.
That soft, tangy snickerdoodle center is surrounded by cinnamon-sugar coating that is completely irresistible and achieved by rolling balls of snickerdoodle cookie dough in a mixture of ground cinnamon and granulated sugar before baking.
How to make snickerdoodle cookies
- Cream butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt, mixing just until combined. Use a medium-size 2-tablespoon cookie to scoop out rounded balls of dough. Roll into balls and roll in a the cinnamon sugar mixture until coated, then space 2-inches apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or silpat mats.
- Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until edges are set and slightly golden, even if the middle seems a bit underbaked. The cookies will continue to set as they cool. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container.
- Use the cream of tartar called for in the recipe. I know I gave you a substitute above, but honestly, the cream of tartar makes the cookies chewier and gives that iconic, snickerdoodle tang.
- Don't overbake the cookies. If you find your cookies often turn out dry or hard or flat, there's a good chance that you may be overbaking them. I almost always intentionally underbake my cookies just a bit to make sure they stay soft, just the way I like them.
- Use room temperature butter and eggs. It really does make a difference to this dough that you are using real butter, and I have found that cookie dough almost always has better texture when the eggs aren't chilly straight out of the fridge.
- If you have troubles with your snickerdoodle cookies going flat, try chilling the dough for 1 hour before shaping into balls and baking. I don't think it's necessary for these cookies, but it doesn't hurt and if you feel like your cookies are spreading too much, this would be my first suggestion.
- I like to scoop out all the dough with a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop before I start rolling them into balls. It just speeds up the process for me. I just scoop them onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet, then start rolling them into balls, then roll them into the cinnamon-sugar mixture before arranging them 2 inches apart on a baking sheet.
While snickerdoodles and sugar cookies share many basic ingredients like flour, sugar, and butter, the classic snickerdoodle also contains cinnamon and cream of tartar, a key ingredient that is absolutely necessary (in my opinion) for a true traditional snickerdoodle.
I had to do a little research to figure out what cream of tartar actually is. Turns out, it's a type of acid known as tartaric acid and is a byproduct of wine production, left over as a residue on the barrels used in winemaking. Fascinating, right? When combined with baking soda, cream of tartar and baking soda work like double-acting baking powder.
Yes, you technically CAN make snickerdoodles without cream of tartar, but personally I don't think they really count because they just don't taste quite the same. Snickerdoodles without cream of tartar are just cinnamon-sugar coated sugar cookies, in my opinion.
If you really want to make snickerdoodles without cream of tartar, either because you don't have any on hand or you just don't like the flavor it adds to cookies, you can replace BOTH the cream of tartar AND the baking soda called for in the recipe with 2 teaspoons of baking powder.
There are a few ideas behind where the name "snickerdoodle" came from. Some people think it is German or Dutch, coming from the German word Schneckennudeln or the Dutch word snekrad, both having meanings indicating a snail-like shape or design.
Other theories claim it's just a whimsically fun cookie name that comes from the New England tradition of coming up with creative, fanciful cookie names.
More snickerdoodle recipes that aren't cookies
- Snickerdoodle Cheesecake from I Am Baker
- Snickerdoodle Hot Chocolate from Lemon Tree Dwelling
- Snickerdoodle Cobbler from The Recipe Critic
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies from Joyfully Mad
Best Snickerdoodle Cookies Recipe
- 1 cup butter softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Cinnamon Sugar Mixture
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Mix cinnamon-sugar mixture together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Cream butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand-held mixer, about 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl and mixing until combined.
- Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt, mixing just until combined. Use a cookie to scoop out rounded balls of dough. Roll into balls and roll in a the cinnamon sugar mixture until coated, then space 2-inches apart on cookie sheets.
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until edges are set and slightly golden, even if the middle seems a bit underbaked. The cookies will continue to set as they cool. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container.
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