July 11, 2011

I’m a sucker for pretty much anything with cinnamon and sugar (sticky buns, monkey bread, fried dough at the fair… all are divine), so it’s a given that I love snickerdoodle cookies! Although cookie recipes – especially drop cookies like these – are supposed to be good for beginner bakers, I’ve always had better luck making larger desserts like cakes or pies right from the start of my baking adventures. My oven doesn’t run hot according to my thermometer, but for some reason cookies always go from not-yet-done to overbaked in about ten seconds!

After making snickerdoodles many times, I’ve finally figured out exactly when to remove them from the oven so that they turn out chewy and not crunchy. The directions given with this recipe (which is from the America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book) say 10-12 minutes, but I remove them from my oven at 9 minutes 30 seconds (or 10 minutes at the most), no matter how raw they still look in the center. Now that I’m getting more comfortable with baking in general, I think I will be trying more cookie recipes in the near future!


Makes about 2 dozen cookies


  • 1 3/4  cups (12 1/4 ounces) sugar
  • 1  tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2  cups (12 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2  teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 8  tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2  cup vegetable shortening
  • 2  large eggs


  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine 1/4 cups of the sugar and cinnamon together in a shallow dish and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt together.
  2. In a large bowl (or with a stand mixer), beat the butter, shortening, and remaining sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.
  3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Give the dough a few final stirs with a rubber spatula to make sure it is combined.
  4. Working with 2 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll the dough into balls with wet hands, then roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat. Lay the balls on the prepared baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart.
  5. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are set but the centers are still soft and puffy, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking. (The cookies will look raw between the cracks and seem underdone.)
  6. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

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