Snickerdoodle – Cinnamon Sugar Cookie goodness!

snickerdoodle-cookie recipe

I had a brilliant idea. It was for another addition to our deep-dish-a-la-mode-cookie repertoire, aka pizookies. Aka Sweet Crack. However, there was one minor problem. I had no snickerdoodle cookie recipe for the dough that I wanted to use.   There were no snickerdoodle recipes in any of my go-to dessert cookbooks, no family recipes, no nada.

So I embarked on a little snickerdoodle cookie cyber research quest to discover the beauty behind these tasty cinnamon sugar cookies. I knew very well of how snickerdoodle cookies should taste, but there was a particular element to snickerdoodle cookies that I couldn’t place my tongue on. It wasn’t long before I started seeing a trend in the different recipes to see what that element was, cream of tartar. You know, that little white powder so many of us have in our spice drawers and always wonder what the hell it is used for.

Turns out cream of tartar is a cast off from wine making and also primary element in many brands of baking powder. It is actually an acid salt that can help stabilize eggs and impart a slight acidic taste when used in cooking such as in snickerdoodle cookies.  It’s that little extra element that contributes to the texture and  lends a particularly unique flavor element to the cookies.  Fascinating, really, but I still didn’t have any damn snickerdoodle recipe. Many of the recipes I found online were very good, like Shuna’s snickerdoodle recipe that she contributed to Elise’s site Simply Recipes,  but I was already in serious “Snickerdoodle” recipe mode and wanted to play with my own creation.

So,  I decided to embark upon something I’ve never done before, create a snickerdoodle cookie recipe from scratch.

snickerdoodle-cinnamon sugar cookie recipe

I’ve always relied upon others’ recipes for a start point and then have tweaked if needed to make the recipe to my personal preference. However I was feeling inspired. Part because my cookie mojo has been flowing lately, hence all the cookie related posts, and part by Michael Ruhlman’s new book Ratio. I haven’t had the chance to read his book yet, but the principal is brilliant.  By understanding the basic ratio of a recipe, you will gain the freedom of cooking and creating using your own knowledge and taste, rather than a specific recipe.

I’m such a cookie freak that I have many of my cookie recipes memorized.  Now instead of thinking about the recipes’  ingredients as individual numbers, I analyzed their ratios.  Patterns developed and before long I was crafting a recipe from scratch. A good snickerdoodle should be soft with a touch of crispness on the edges, so I combined a bit of lard to accompany the butter for the fats in the recipe.  Lard gives a great soft texture, but the butter gives the best flavor and a better crispness. I mixed brown and white sugars to give a little more dimension to the flavor and took advantage of our well stocked pantry by bringing out the Vietnamese cinnamon that we brought home from our visit to north and central Viet-Nam last fall.

How did the snickerdoodle cookie recipe turn out?  I have to be honest, it was damn perfect!  The best snickerdoodle cookies I’ve ever tasted.  The texture, even when cooled was perfect, the flavor great, and the Vietnamese cinnamon is a divine finishing touch.  The snickerdoodle cookies will still be great even with regular cinnamon, but I can’t stop making it with our little cinnamon spice luxury.  Even the “freezing the dough test” was a success so we now have another snickerdoodle cookie dough we can grab out of the freezer whenever we are feeling cookie-ish.  And the pizookie idea…  as brilliant as I had hoped it would be.

“What!?! What is the pizookie idea?” you may be asking.  Ha ha ha ha!  I’m too bratty to reveal all the tricks in one post.

You’ll have to tune-in later in the week to find out the next episode of the “Pizookie Files.” Although if you were one of our Twitter followers then you were already given the inside scoop by Diane last week. Lucky devils.

Look out for the next post, which will be the Snickerdoodle Pizookie- deep dish a la mode!

-Todd

snickerdoodle-cookie recipe

Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe

Yield: about 36 Cookies

Total Time: 1 hour

These are one of our favorite cookies. Soft with a tinge of crispness on the edges. If you want to go crazy, grate a Vietnamese cinnamon stick for the cinnamon-sugar mixture you roll the dough balls in. So good!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated Sugar
  • 2/3 cup (150g) packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) Vegetable Shortening or Lard, softened to room temperature
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt
  • 2 1/3 cups (300g) unbleached, all-purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) Cream of Tartar
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon (15g) Cornstarch

1/2 cup (100g) Cinnamon Sugar mix (1 part cinnamon, 3 parts sugar ratio)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350° F (325° F convection bake). Line a couple baking sheet pans with a silpat or parchment paper.
  2. Combine sugar, brown sugar, butter and lard in a mixing bowl. Beat until creamed and light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla extract, and salt and mix until fully incorporated.
  3. Sift flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and cornstarch together. Gently mix the flour mixture into butter mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes-1 hour, or until the dough is chilled enough to easily handle and will hold a ball shape when formed.
  4. Freezing Option: roll dough into a log and wrap in plastic wrap.  Freeze. When ready to use, thaw for about 30 minutes, then continue with recipe.
  5. Put cinnamon sugar mix into a bowl. Gently form dough into a small ball (about the size of a walnut) then roll in cinnamon sugar mix. Place balls on the lined sheet pans. Make sure to give plenty of room between cookies since they spread a bit.
  6. Bake each sheet tray for 11-14 minutes.  They should be light golden on the edges. It is better to slightly under-bake than to over-bake these cookies.
  7. Cookies will be puffy coming out of the oven and after about 15 minutes of cooling they will settle and crinkle.

Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

Hello! All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use our images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.
Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.


Hope everyone enjoys these as much as we do.  I had to make a third batch just for the final shots.  We ate all of the first 2 batches before we could shoot it! Until we stop teasing and post the new Pizookie Files episode using the snickerdoodle dough, here are a few other great snickerdoodle ideas we’ve stumbled across:

Snickerdoodle Cookies at Simply Recipes by Shuna Lydon

Snickerdoodle Bars by Dine and Dish

Snickerdoodle Muffins by Peabody

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Leigh Ann

    This snickerdoodle recipe is the BEST i’ve tried by far! My son must have eaten a dozen yesterday. Excellent crispy edges and chewy center!

  2. Colleen

    Do you just use the boxed lard from the meat department for this, or is there a better quality product I should look for? And do you know if I can freeze the leftover lard for later use? I do have a Whole Foods near by, if they would have something…

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Hi Colleen,
      What we usually buy are 1 lb blocks of Farmer John brand lard which we can find in many of the local grocers. I’d use my nose to tell if you meat department’s lard is of the quality you’d want for cookies & pie crusts. It should have a fairly clean and very mild pork smell and that’s it. We never bother freezing the lard, but actually keep it in our second fridge. Lasts a long time. We’ve never checked the Whole Foods around here for lard, but there is a good chance they should have some. Latino markets almost always sell some pretty good lard. Good luck, and if you aren’t finding a lard you like, you can always substitute vegetable shortening in a pinch.

      T

  3. Kristen

    Oh you are being bratty 😉 Can’t wait to read what you have up your sleeve.

    What lovely cookies and what great restraint, to freeze them and not make them all at once when they are that good!
    Have a great week!

  4. Melissa

    These look sooooo good! My first attempt at Snickerdoodles left me with flat, crunchy (but still tasty) cookies – I can’t wait to try these! Just one quick question: what is the yield on this recipe? 2 dozen?

    1. White on Rice Couple

      I think it is about 3 dozen, but we never cook the whole batch at once (most gets frozen) and we like our cookies on the smaller side. Enjoy the snickerdoodles!

  5. Hannah

    These look fantastic! I’m making snickerdoodles for some friends of mine and I couldn’t find my moms recipe anywhere, so I googled and holy cow these look fabulous.

    I saw that you could freeze them(yay!) but what about chilling the dough before baking? In my moms recipe(which also uses lard or shortening if i remember correctly) it says to chill for an hour and then put on the cookie sheets.

    Thanks for the fab recipe!

  6. Deanna

    How could you go wrong with that recipe? Lard AND Vietnamese Cinnamon? Pork fat and cinnamon rule!!

  7. shelby

    wow they look soooo good. Can you tell me what I did wrong? mine turned out like frisbees. very flat. but they are still really good. My margerine may have been too soft.

  8. kirbie

    Your cookies look amazing. I’ve been trying to find a good snickerdoodle recipe. I haven’t liked the past ones I’ve tried. I’ll definitely try this one out!

  9. Amy

    Hello – this recipe sounds tasty and looks fantastic! One question – is there a particular reason why you add the salt prior to the dry ingredients rather than mixing it in along with the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and cornstarch? Thanks!
    Hi Amy. Good question. It is a habit of mine because I am always using sea salt in the recipes and many flakes don’t make it through the sifter. I’ve made many cookie recipes playing with adding salt in with the dry ingredients then remaking the recipe and adding the salt before the dry ingredients, and it doesn’t seem to affect the recipe either way. So it just seems easier and more logical to put the salt in first, then run the other dry ingredients directly through the sifter into the batter. Todd.

  10. Sylvia

    Wow!! What a nice blog and beautiful photos as well. Your snicker doodles looks delicious. I’ll must to try your recipe

  11. foodwoolf

    Gorgeous photos and amazing way to explain Ratios to dessert fearful people like me. I am definitely going to get Ruhlman’s book so that I can set myself free of all that mathematical fear and get cooking. In the meantime, I’ll be in my kitchen with your snickerdoodle recipe and fresh-from-the-oven cookies in my hand!
    xoxo
    Brooke

  12. White on Rice Couple

    Thanks for all the sweet comments everyone!
    Maria-Thanks!
    Kate-Did you get the whole sticks? Crazy. If you eat them straight it is like a red hot!
    Lisa-Awww. I’m blushing.
    Gastronomer-Hope he loves them!
    ravenouscouple-I think you meant this one on the chili post! No worries.
    sharon-Thanks.
    Hélène-Lucky little twitter follower. Diane leaks all the secrets!
    Rachael-Sorry for the continued torture! But I’m not stopping 😈
    Manggy-If it didn’t take so long to get over to you we’d send you some right now!
    grace-I’ll get the towels ready!
    jo-Thank you very much. Snickerdoodles are as much fun to eat as they are to say!
    Patricia-Thank you!
    Howard-I think from how some of our Aussie customers described cinnamon snaps, these are softer. Don’t happen to know of a good recipe for cinnamon snaps, do you?
    Alisa-Thanks!
    krysta-The lard definitely helps with the softness. I usual don’t like having to use too many different ingredients, but I really think if was the key to their texture. I’d love to hear how they come out for you!
    The Duo Dishes-We wish everyone had the change to try true Viet cinnamon. It’s really incredible.
    Jen-Awwww. We are so glad Michael has helped open up this concept to so many people with his latest book. It really helps understand principles behind recipes.
    Quyen-I hope not. It would be freakish for a guy to be pregnant! Diane’s mom keeps harassing us to have a baby! She want “McBaby” Translation- mixed baby, interracial grandkid! Twin girls to be specific. This isn’t Burger King you know. You can’t order it your way!
    Mrs L.-Same problem I usually had. Hard to find someone who makes them really well. We think this recipe rocks! Hope you take the time to try it and share your thoughts.
    Sirena-Thanks. Sorry about the mess. It looks like our recipe archives is going to need an overhaul. Still contemplating the best way to do it. If there is any recipe you need, just send us an email!
    desiree-Angel food cake sounds divine right now! Especially grandma made.
    cheffresco-Compliments of the garden, styling by Diane. Nice touch, huh!
    Katie- Oooooh! That sounds tasty!
    Cheryl-I’d love to hear how they turn out for you. Have a little cookie throw down with Martha 😉
    Maya-Thanks
    The Italian Dish-It totally does. It gets us away from blindly following instructions and gets us thinking in the kitchen. Cookie addict may be a more appropriate term!
    susan g-Thanks. Would love to hear how you are used to seeing them!
    Eat. Travel. Eat!-The Viet cinnamon gives a whole new dynamic, although you can give the same look with microplaning regular cinnamon sticks. I like rolling the dough in the cinnamon as well, but for a thicker cinnamon sugar coating, sprinkling the cinnamon sugar is a great alternative.
    Thanks for sharing and visiting everyone. Remember to feed that sweet tooth. Happy teeth smile more often! -Todd

  13. Eat. Travel. Eat!

    I haven’t eaten snickerdoodles in a long time, and these look really good! So round and so beautiful :).
    I like how your technique of putting the dough in the rough cinnamon sugar. It makes the final product look very interesting.

  14. susan g

    The snickerdoodles of my childhood are in the Betty Crocker Cookbook, from the 50’s. Yours look beautiful — but different!

  15. The Italian Dish

    I love Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio book. It just makes so much sense to use this as an approach to baking. I’m clipping your cookie recipe – you are a true cookie aficionado!

  16. Maya

    Good info on cream of tartar..Another bookmarked recipe 😉

  17. Cheryl Arkison

    I only had these for the first time, in Los Barilles, Mexico of all places, over Christmas. This recipe looks a lot better than my first attempt with a Martha recipe. Thanks.

  18. Katie

    Can I just tell you that if you add Hersey’s cinnamon chips to any snickerdoodle recipe, you will be in the most glorious heavenly rush ever?

  19. cheffresco

    Yum! I love your pretty pictures with the roses :)

  20. desiree

    Snickerdoodles are a favorite at my house. I haven’t made them in a while…time to break out the cookie sheets! Thanks for the cream of tartar. My grandmother made the most wonderful frosting using cream of tartar. She used to top off an angel food cake with it…It was my favorite.

  21. Sirena

    These look great! I’ll add them to my ever-growing list of recipes to try. In the meantime, I can’t wait til all the links on your site are working again! I miss being able to browse through all the great links in your archives and enjoy the lovely photos and recipes you feature.

  22. Mrs. L

    I bought a snickerdoodle cookie from a bakery a few weeks ago and it just did nothing for me. I told myself I need to learn to make my own. Thank you for doing all the work for me, I’ll have to try these.

  23. Quyen

    A little off subject, but are ya’ll pregnant? Expecting a girl maybe? You have been doing a lot of cookie and dessert posts. Lucky us!

  24. Jen

    I absolutely admire that you created this recipe from scratch! I must get my hands on “Ratio” and some Cream of Tartar…

  25. The Duo Dishes

    We don’t know one person who doesn’t like snickerdoodles. The Vietnamese cinnamon is a nice touch.

  26. krysta

    todd, thanks for posting a snickerdoodle recipe. i have made a lot of snickerdoodles and none of them taste perfect. i’ve used cream of tartar but never lard or shortening. i think that might be the missing ingredient. and with my stash of cinnamon, they might turn out perfect.

  27. Alisa - Frugal Foodie

    It has been ages since I have had a snickerdoodle, but those look too good to pass up!

  28. Howard

    Nice job! Never had these before, unless they are the equivalent cinnamon snaps here in Australia! I look forward to the next episode of the pizookie files :)

  29. Patricia Scarpin

    I love snickerdoodles – actually, love anything cinnamon – and these look so good! Love your photos, too.

  30. jo

    Honestly, I have never tried this cookie before but have been seeing it pop up occassionally in several blogs. I have to really try it one day. I must say that your pictures are fabulous and presentation is great too.

  31. grace

    well, good for you, todd! if you’re gonna create a recipe, a personalized snickerdoodle is absolutely the way to go. :)
    and fyi, i’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the snickerdoodle pizookie, deep dish a la mode. i shall become a drool factory, i know it.

  32. Manggy

    Such an awesome idea to use THE best cinnamon in the world for this! Hmm, I wonder where I’ll get some… (Hee hee 😉 You see, I’ve never tasted nor seen a snickerdoodle before. I think we’ll have to remedy that stat! :)

  33. Rachael

    My mom used to make these all the time when I was little. I adore them! Seriously, you’re killing me with all these cookie recipes when I don’t have an oven! Good thing I’ll be back in the States long enough this summer to bake like crazy! Thanks for the great post…mouth watering.

  34. Hélène

    I think I know what you might come up with, from reading it on Twitter. Can’t wait to see it. Congrats for your recipe. I’ve added this one on top of the pile. Beautiful pics! :)

  35. sharon

    A truly original cookie recipe is quite a feat! It’s nice to know that I have another use for my cream of tartar beyond the angel food cake I make once a year. These look so cinnamony & delicious.

  36. ravenouscouple

    your twitter page is like a who’s who of the food blogging world!! we’re sooooo 1990’s late adapters…my cell phone doesn’t even take photos or have internet!! Will try to use more peppers next time…but for real, Kim’s aunt’s peppers are the hottest ever tasted..rivals the ones I ate while in Thailand.

  37. Gastronomer

    My boy LOVES cinnamon. I’m going to surprise him with these! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  38. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary

    Todd you are turning into quite the baker! *sniff* I’m so proud! Those cookies are making my mouth water. Great job, great photos too!

  39. Kate

    I did the same thing when I got hold of Ratio — made a cookie recipe from scratch (see the cardamom orange teacakes on my blog). Time consuming, but fun.

    I’ve had a yen to make snickerdoodles ever since I got my hands on some Vietnamese cinnamon (at Penzeys). That stuff is amazing.

  40. Maria

    One of my favorite cookies! They look perfect!

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