Prep: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets.
Make cookie dough: Place all dry ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Set aside. Place the butter and both sugars in a large bowl and cream with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix just until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and stir until a sticky cookie dough forms.
Shape cookies: Roll the dough into 1 inch balls (about 1 heaping teaspoon of dough each). Mix the sugar and cinnamon for rolling, and roll the dough balls in it. Place on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake: Bake in single batches (only one baking sheet in the oven at a time!) for 8-10 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then dip in the cinnamon sugar again if you like. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Brown sugar: I prefer light brown sugar for this recipe. Feel free to replace it with white sugar if you don't have any brown sugar on hand - the taste and texture will be a little different, but still good.
Butter: If you prefer to bake with margarine, please use stick margarine intended for baking. NOT buttery spread or any other product that's intended for spreading on bread.
Cream of tartar: This is what makes a snickerdoodle a snickerdoodle. If you don't have it and are absolutely set on making snickerdoodle cookies, try using 3 teaspoons of baking powder instead of the cream of tartar AND the baking soda.
don’t overbeat the eggs, mix them in for 10-15 seconds and call it a day – otherwise your cookies will be too puffy and taste too eggy
do not be tempted to chill the dough. you want the Snickerdoodle cookie balls to spread during baking, so the dough should be baked at room temperature. if you still need to chill it because you’re making it ahead, you may need to gently push the cookies down with the bottom of a drinking glass right after baking to help flatten them out.
do not overbake the cookies. bake them until just lightly browned. they will still be very soft when you take them out of the oven, and that’s fine – they’ll firm up as they cool. overbaked snickerdoodles get rock-solid and lose their delicious soft center.
double dip: After I made Snowball cookies, I realized I should try double-dipping snickerdoodles. And it’s so good! The outside gets even crunchier, and there’s a lot more cinnamon flavor. I roll the cookie dough in cinnamon sugar before baking, and then again shortly after they come out of the oven
Snickerdoodles keep well if you store them right!On the counter:These cookies can be stored on the counter in an airtight container. They are best eaten fresh within 5-7 days.Freezer instructions:To freeze unbaked cookies: Roll the dough into balls (do not dip in sugar!) and freeze them in a single layer on a lined baking sheet until firm. Transfer to freezer bags labelled with the name and use-by date (freeze for up to 2 months).To bake, let the dough balls sit on a plate for 30 minutes, then roll in cinnamon sugar and bake as directed in the recipe.To freeze baked cookies: Freeze the cookies in freezer-friendly containers. Separate layers with wax paper.To thaw, leave them on a cooling rack at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Roll in cinnamon sugar again to make them look pretty and fresh.
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