What makes a snickerdoodle a snickerdoodle? It’s not just a sugar cookie with cinnamon. The real difference, I discovered, lies in a not-so-secret ingredient: cream of tartar, which gives these cookies their signature tang. My recipe doesn’t produce soft and pillowy cookies like many others that share their name. These are flat-ish, crispy on the edges and delightfully chewy in the centers.
And what’s with that name? Some sources claim that “snickerdoodle” is some form of the German word “schneckennudel”, which is basically a sweet roll. And then others report that someone in 1800s New England simply invented a nonsense word to describe this new, popular cookie type. Truly a mystery for the ages.
Here’s a tip for more picture-perfect, circular snickerdoodle cookies (and way less struggle measuring!): use a cookie scoop. They also call these press dishers — they’re basically just ice cream scoops! For this recipe, I use my 1.5-ounce model. I recommend the ones with the spring-loaded trigger on the handle. They’re much sturdier and easier to use than the squeeze ones, which I have broken before trying to measure cookie dough. You could also just use a spoon and they’ll still turn out great!
Did you make these chewy snickerdoodle cookies? I want to see! Tag me @easygayoven on TikTok and Instagram.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the powdered sugar and butter until smooth and homogenous.
Add the egg and vanilla and whisk until fully combined.
To the the wet ingredients, add the flour mixture all at once. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour into the wet mixture just until the last streaks of flour disappear.
Chill the dough, covered, in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.
Around 10 minutes before you take the dough out of the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper, set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and granulated sugar.
Measure out 12-13 dough balls — about 2 heaping tablespoons or 1.5 ounces each — and roll each of them in the cinnamon sugar until fully coated.
Place 6 or 7 dough balls on a half-sheet tray, spacing them out so they don’t run into each other. In the meantime, cover the extras and return them to the fridge.
Bake the cookies sheets for 6 minutes, then give the tray a meaningful *thwap* on the counter to de-puff the cookies. (This makes the edges crinkly and crispier.) Return them to the oven for 4 or 5 more minutes, just until the edges are set and starting to lightly brown.
Let the cookies cool on the tray for about 3 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.