Soft, chewy, and full of cinnamon-y goodness.
These snickerdoodles are about to be the best part of your day.
September 10, 2020
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I'm a self-taught baker, recipe developer, and food photographer who works as a digital strategist by day in the concrete jungle of New York City. Aside from a never ending supply of baked goods, my Brooklyn apartment also houses two cats and my personal taste-tester (boyfriend).
If you’ve ever had a perfectly soft snickerdoodle before, you’ll know that the obsession is REAL. When I worked in a bakery in high school, these babies were on the menu year round and I truly couldn’t get enough. When made right, they’re soft, chewy, sweet, a bit tangy, and pack a punch of warm cinnamon spice. Even better, they’re one of the fastest, no fuss cookies to make which is even more reason to deem them a classic.
Get your cream of tartar ready
Cream of tartar is something that I usually never think about unless I’m making this recipe. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s not tartar sauce, and it’s not a cream. It’s actually more similar to baking soda and can be found in the spice or baking aisle of your grocery store. It’s an acidic leavener that gives snickerdoodles their classic tang (similar to the taste of buttermilk or greek yogurt). It also keeps sugar from crystallizing, so it’s crucial in this recipe because it keeps the cookies soft and tender. The more you know!
Tips for baking the best snickerdoodles
There’s nothing more upsetting than puling out a tray of fresh baked cookies and realizing that something has gone terribly wrong. Here’s some tips to avoid those potential pitfalls and impress all your friends with these chewy, soft, cinnamon-sugar cookies:
Don’t over mix. If you follow me, you’ve probably heard this one before. I can’t stress enough how important it is not to over work the batter. This will truly make the difference between a soft and perfectly tender cookie versus a tough one. As a rule of thumb, stop just when the last clump of flour disappears.
Allow proper time to chill. If you find that your cookies are always spreading and leeching a ton of butter, your batter is probably too warm. Once I’ve portioned my dough balls, I like to pop them into the fridge for about 30 minutes. This gives the butter some time to firm back up, but also lets all those flavors get to know each other while the flour has time to moisten.
Don’t be shy with the cinnamon sugar. It’s not a snickerdoodle without a heaping dose of cinnamon flavor. Don’t be afraid to double or triple roll your dough balls into the cinnamon sugar mixture so that they’re fully coated all over.
Watch your temperature. It can be tempting to bump up the heat so that your batches come out faster, but this is going to produce overdone edges and raw middles. Be patient, good things take time!
Be careful not to over bake. It can be hard to tell when these cookies are done since they stay relatively light even when fully cooked (i.e. you’ll want to pull them out of the oven before they’re golden). Start with one or two cookies as a test until you get a sense of how hot your oven runs, and take the cookies out when the edges are just set.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt until well combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and then eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions and mix until just combined (some flour streaks are fine, just don’t over mix).
Using a spoon or a medium cookie scoop, scoop your dough into equal sized balls and place on the parchment lined baking sheet. Chill in the fridge for at least thirty minutes.
In the meantime, mix together the 3 Tbsp sugar and 1 Tbsp cinnamon in a small bowl, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Once chilled, roll your dough balls into the cinnamon mixture to coat evenly all over. Place them on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart, and bake for 9-12 minutes.
Chill the dough and cookie sheets between batches.
Let cookies set on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes once removed from the oven, and then move to a cooling rack.