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Classic Snickerdoodles Recipe

Here’s another recipe I borrowed from my Aunt’s recipe box when I was home from Thanksgiving.  This Snickerdoodles recipe is scribbled on a stained, yellowed piece of paper and was copied from who knows where.  It even has a missing ingredient penciled in with a question mark at the end.  Sounds like a winner to me!

We all have these stained, well-used scraps of paper tucked into our recipe box, right?  They’re the recipes that get used all the time but for some reason never make it onto a real recipe card.  Well this one will finally be copied onto a real recipe card, because I need to return the original to my Aunt’s recipe box at Christmas!

I’ve written about a variation on Snickerdoodles before, but I’ve never posted a recipe for the classic cookie.  In my mind, Snickerdoodles have always seemed a bit boring.  I know I liked them when I was young, but as an adult, I just haven’t given them much of a chance.  But after testing this recipe a few days ago, I realized once again how much I love this cinnamon-sugar cookie!  I’m still not a big fan of the name (how did they end up with such a silly name?), but these have certainly moved onto my list of favorite cookies!

The only change I made to the hand-written recipe was to add some vanilla extract.  I added one teaspoon, but I think they could even take a bit more if you prefer.  Although the recipe directs you to make one-inch balls of dough, you can make the cookies as big as you like!  I made some giant ones and some medium-sized ones, because I can never bring myself to make tiny cookies.  Just make sure you leave lots of space between the cookies, because they really spread out.

If you want to add a little zing to your Snickerdoodles, you can use pumpkin or apple pie spice in place of the cinnamon.  I made half of my cookies with plain cinnamon and half of them with pumpkin pie spice.  They were both really good, but my husband actually preferred the ones made with pumpkin pie spice (I thought it was a toss-up).  It’s a tasty experiment and a good way to use up the pumpkin pie spice that will be sitting around unused all year long!


2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice (or more)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla. On low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture (or stir in by hand) until well combined.
4. In a small bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon (or pumpkin/apple pie spice).
5. Shape spoonfuls of cookie dough into 1″ balls, then roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Place 2″ apart on ungreased (parchment-lined, if you prefer) cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.  Remove to a wire cooling rack.  They will be slightly puffed when removed from oven but will flatten completely as they cool.  Store in an airtight container.

Yield: 5 dozen cookies

Recipe Notes: For softer, chewy cookies, take the cookies out of the oven at 8 minutes (or maybe earlier depending on your oven). For crisp cookies, allow them to bake longer.  If you like an extra spicy cookie, add extra cinnamon to the sugar mixture (some recipes call for a ratio of 2 tablespoons sugar to 2 teaspoons cinnamon).  Save the leftover cinnamon/sugar and try adding it to your coffee or hot chocolate!

I found that I could put a few balls of dough in the cinnamon/sugar mixture and then shake the whole bowl around to coat them all at once. It was faster and easier!

Roll the balls of dough around until they are fully coated with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Space cookies 2″ apart on an ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet.  Keep in mind that these cookies spread a lot!

Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes. If you want a chewy cookie, try taking them out at 8 minutes, before the cookies take on any color. If you want a crisp cookie, bake until edges are just slightly brown. Cookies will be slightly puffed when you remove them from oven, but will flatten completely as they cool.

Since I like some of my cookies crisp, I left these in the oven until the edges turned brown. They were very crisp, without any chewiness in the center. I like them this way, but if want chewy, make sure to take them out before they take on any color (like the photo above).

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