ATK Snickerdoodle Cookies (Cece's Favorite)
Snickerdoodle cookies are my niece's absolute favorite! It's no surprise because as I was making these, I realized they are basically a sugar cookie, coated in cinnamon and sugar. What's not to love about them when you're 6 years old and thrive on a diet made up of sugar and soda? There are 2 necessities to get these cookies just right: cream of tartar (What the heck!?) and a crackly top. I know what you're thinking and no there is no relation between tartar sauce and cream of tartar. The cream of tartar in this recipe is necessary to get the slight tanginess in snickerdoodle cookies. The crackly top is a result of the combination of butter and shortening in this recipe. While you can find many alternative recipes that don't include shortening, I recommend keeping it in if it's available to you to get the signature crackly top of a snickerdoodle.
My mom, who isn't even a huge cookie fan, said that this was on of the best cookie's she's had because of the crunchy exterior and soft middle. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family did! Original recipe credit: America's Test Kitchen, Family Cookbook, found here.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes + cooling time
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp cream of tartar (found near the spice aisle)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (found in baking aisle)
2 large eggs
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish for coating and set aside. Whisk flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
Beat the butter, shortening, and remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar together in a large bown using a hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 - 6 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly mix in the flour mixture until combined about 30 seconds. Give the dough a final stir with a rubber spatula to make sure it's combined and there are no dry spots left.
Using wet hands, roll 2 tbsp of dough at a time into balls, then roll in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 2 1/2 inches apart. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time until edges are set and beginning to brown but the centers are still soft and puffy, no more than 10 - 12 minutes. (They might still look underdone but that is OK!)
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.
Fun fact: It is a mystery where these cookies earned their name! However, it is speculated they originated from the German word "Schneckennudeln", which roughly translates to "crinkly noodles."