I think just about everyone loves a good snickerdoodle. I’m no exception. I started working on my own recipe about 9 years ago, around the time I first moved to Texas. I’m still not sure how, but I had never eaten a snickerdoodle before I moved here. I’m pretty sure my first one came from an authentic Czech bakery in South Texas. It was good enough that, with the fact I’d never had one, I was inspired to put my own spin on it.
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 sticks (16 tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp ground Ceylon cinnamon (It tastes better on these. Cassia is more bitter.)
3 tbsp granulated sugar
Combine flour, salt, cornstarch, cream of tartar, and baking soda in small bowl. Prepare your cinnamon sugar in another small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract in large mixing bowl until creamy.
Mix in the bowl of flour, etc. until it’s thoroughly mixed in. But don’t mix it for more than a minute or so after it’s roughly uniform. The leavening ingredients will be working by now and mixing excessively will break gas bubbles unnecessarily.
The dough will probably be very sticky, but it’s much easier to roll into balls when it’s cool. So chill the bowl of dough in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. Just before you take your dough out of the fridge, start preheating your oven to 350°F.
Roll your dough with your hands into balls a little smaller than a ping pong ball. Roll each ball in cinnamon sugar until fully coated. Place them on a greased/buttered baking sheet.
Roll your remaining dough balls and place them on a clean cutting board for now.
Bake for 14-15 minutes (14 minutes for 60 dough balls or about 15 minutes for 48 dough balls). If you’re baking on two racks, you can get a more consistent result by rotating the baking sheets at the 7 minute mark. If you see these start to darken, they’re already more done than they should be. You really just want to bake them long enough for the edges to start to firm up. They’ll turn out crunchy if they bake a couple minutes too long. They’re still good when they’re crunchy, but they should ideally be soft.
As in the picture above, the finished cookies will often show cracking, but not always.
I spent some time studying up on crumb and leavening while I designed this recipe. I know from my studies that I could cut the leavening (baking soda and cream of tartar) to create a more pillowy cookie that doesn’t fall so much after it rises as it bakes. But I really like craggy cookies that fall a bit like these do. So these are perfect for me as they are. If you don’t feel the same way, but otherwise like this recipe, try reducing the leavening ingredients a bit.