A Taste of Childhood – Snickerdoodles

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Snickerdoodles are one of those old-fashioned recipes that should never go out of style. Sure, you have your chocolate explosion this and your caramelized toasted nut that, but you can’t go wrong with recipes that have lasted through the generations. There is something to be said for cookies (and pies and cakes) that celebrate the unadulterated flavors of butter and sugar.

My grandmother (mom’s mom) made snickerdoodles often when I was growing up. They were some of my favorites, with no nuts or chocolate that I might not like. Yes, I went through a period when I didn’t like chocolate. I chose Creamsicles over Fudgsicles, butterscotch chips over chocolate and ate only the insides of Oreos. It was a short time (and I was very young) when I thought chocolate was too dark and strong. It was actually in Grandma’s kitchen when I first ate chocolate and liked it. We had stopped by for something and she was taking chocolate chip cookies out of the oven. I had a warm cookie, complete with gooey chocolate, and I haven’t looked back since.

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Back to the snickerdoodles – Grandma kept them in a 3-pound coffee can with a plastic lid. The aroma wafting out of that can when she opened the lid is indescribable. Cinnamon and butter mixed with that “something” that is the magic of cookies. There was nothing like finishing Sunday dinner and having Grandma leave the table and come back with that cookie can.

The recipe uses mostly ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. You might have to buy cream of tartar, but it is right in the grocery store along with the spices. Trust me, these cookies are super easy and taste nothing like anything you can buy, even in a bakery. These rank among some of my absolute favorites, even in my current chocolate-loving days. What are your favorite homemade cookies?

Download or print recipe here.


From The Cook’s Life
Makes 80 small or 60 medium cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Beat butter and sugar together until completely combined and no longer gritty. Add eggs and beat again until light and fluffy.

Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Mix well.

Chill for an hour or up to several days.

If your dough is very cold and hard after chilling, let it rest on the counter for a few minutes to soften while the oven preheats.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment, or lightly grease. Mix together topping ingredients in a small bowl.

Roll dough into small balls, about 1-inch in diameter, or use a 2-teaspoon cookie scoop to portion out the dough. You can make larger balls for larger cookies if you like. Roll balls in topping mixture.

Place coated balls on prepared baking sheets, leaving room for the cookies to spread. Bake 7-8 minutes for small cookies, or 8-10 minutes for medium cookies. Cookies will puff up first and then flatten in the oven. Bake until lightly browned on the bottom, but still soft and a little puffy.

Let cookies cool on pans for about two minutes. Remove cookies to a rack to cool completely before storing in an airtight container for several days. Freeze for longer storage.


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