I’m sharing with you today my very favorite cookie in the entire universe… the cookie I’ve loved the most since I was just a little girl: Snickerdoodles.
My mother made this recipe often when I was growing up, so I suppose I became enamored with them at a very early age. The draw most certainly must have been the sugar and cinnamon exterior, or the crunch of the cookie, or maybe it was the intrigue of the craggy cracks formed within the cookie…
…or maybe it was the tangy flavor of added Cream of Tartar. I’ve seen a few recipes for Snickerdoodles floating around that don’t have any Cream of Tartar in them. Just so you know… those aren’t snicker doodles! Traditional Snickerdoodle recipes knix baking powder and use a combination of baking soda and cream of tartar as a leavening agent instead. But Cream of Tartar does much more than that… it imparts a tangy flavor to the cookie, making it recognizable as “the Snickerdoodle.”
There’s are a couple more ingredients that make a Snickerdoodle a Snickerdoodle for me. The first is shortening. I’m not one to ever really use shortening in any recipes, let alone cookie recipes. But for these cookies, they are the key to making them crispy and wonderful.
And of course a good roll in sugar and cinnamon is the key to the crunchy, cinnamony sweet exterior.
When they’re baked, Snickerdoodles crackle apart. It’s their signature look.
You know how every fingerprint is unique? Every crackly Snickerdoodle is unique too. They just sort of crack every which way. Okay by me.
Gosh I love these guys. How about you… are you a Snickerdoodle fan or do you have another classic favorite?
- 1 cup shortening
- 1½ cups granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2¾ cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup granulated white sugar, for rolling
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, for rolling
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together shortening, sugar and eggs.
- In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together and stir into wet mixture. Chill dough in refrigerator until firm, at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon. Use your hands to roll cookie dough into small balls (about 1½ tablespoons each). Roll balls in the sugar/cinnamon, and place on an ungreased baking sheet, about 2 inches apart
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until cookies are flattened and look crinkly. Let cool on cookie sheets at least 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the rolling sugar: You'll have leftover sugar to throw away after rolling. I call for more than needed because I like to have a good puddle to roll them around in. Use less sugar if you don't want the waste.
If you’re a fan of other Snickerdoodly things, here are some other recipes that might interest you:
Brown Butter Snickerdoodles
Toffee- Chip Snickerdoodles
I haven’t had a snickerdoodle since I was little, but I do remember my mom putting cream of tartar in hers. I was looking at several recipes and some of them omitted it, I will try yours and see how they come out. I promised a batch for a friend. Thanks.
Snickerdoodles MUST have cream of tartar in them. That’s what gives it the unique snickerdoodle flavor!
I’ve made the snickerdoodles but I put a little chunk of a snickers bar inside before rolling…. delicious!
oh these are great snickerdoodles and soooo simple. Great recipe..thank YOU!
Oh Lori… I’ve NEVER had a snickerdoodle: i’m so ashamed!! Time to get baking a batch, eh?
Snickerdoodles are my most fave cookie too, but I hardly ever make them. Now I’m totally craving them!
It is so funny because I made these this week too!!! I got a recipe from an old Betty Crocker cookbook that was little different then yours above but still used cream of tartar which I had to go to the store to get 🙂 Mine was half shortening and half butter which I thought was interesting because I don’t remember that in other recipes. They are my husbands favorite ones so they were a special treat for him when he got home from work. I think that they are yummy too but I would always pick something with chocolate first 🙂
Hi Lori, can i substitute the shortening for butter? My son LOVES snicker-doodle cookies but I’m a little eerie @ shortening.
It will probably work out okay, but since I don’t use butter in the recipe, I can’t say for certain. You won’t get the same crispy texture that shortening gives it.
Snickerdoodles are my little guy’s favorite and I can’t resist them fresh out of the oven!
Can butter flavored shortening be used??
Sure- I’m pretty sure that’s what I used.
it should come as no surprise that these are my favorite cookies. 🙂
As I was reading your post, I learned something new! I did not know Cream of Tartar imparted a tangy taste! I’ve just googled it, and I had no idea of the different uses for this ingredient that I’ve NEVER used! It’s now at the top of my shopping list. Thank you 🙂
Snickerdoodles have always been a favorite of mine, as well. I think I’m way past due for making a batch. Thanks for the reminder…my tummy is growling!
I’ve never tasted snickerdoodles before but I want to, right now 😀 It’s a very cute name and looks so delish!!
Oh my they look so good !
Snickerdoodles are just a classic! My son is obsessed with cinnamon, so these are hit in our house. I love them made into a sandwich cookie with Nutella in the middle!
I love Snickerdoodles! I grew up in a house that always had a full cookie jar, and most of the time it contained homemade Snickerdoodles. I think my mom made them so often because the ingredients were cheap and the recipe was easy. Plus, we all loved them. Beautiful pictures!
These look perfect!
I love Snickerdoodles, there one of my favorite cookies! Just a perfect, simple recipe!
Does cream of tartar get old? I think I have my little jar for about 2 years now??
I did a little google search on that, and apparently it has an indefinite shelf life if it’s kept tightly closed and away from heat. That being said, I try to replace all of my spices w/in one to two years of purchase (depending on the spice).
Snickerdoodles are my favorites!!!! And you’re right about cream of tartar….there is a distinct flavor that it imparts. Gotta uses cream of tartar. 🙂
A great way to end the day would be a tall glass of milk and a few of these delicious cookies! I have all these ingredients on hand and look forward to whipping up a batch of these tasty cookies this weekend!
I almost forgot about Snickerdoodles since I’ve had to stay Gluten free, but not quite. That wonderful smell is with me still….
There must be a way and I will search for it. Gluten Free Snickerdoodles! Where do I start?
It must be a snickerdoodle-y kind of week because I made snickerdoodles this week also! I’ve been craving them. They really are the most comforting of all cookies.
Snickerdoodles are my absolute favorite cookie. They are so simple, yet so delicious! I’ll have to try this recipe.
They are especially tasty with a dab of strawberry jam on top before you bake them!
Well, then I must try that!
LOVE your Brown Butter Snickerdoodle recipe…it has become my go-to, all time favorite cookie recipe. I love that melting the butter ahead of time erases the issue of the cookies spreading too much. And the nutty flavor…oh, my.
And, I agree with you about the cream of tartar. Without it, all you have is a sugar cookie!
I am a huge fan of snickerdoodles. A chewy cookie covered in cinnamon and sugar… how could they possibly be bad?!
I’ve never tried snickerdoodles before – I think you’ve just inspired me to make some!
What?! You must…
Definitely one of my favorites…these look like perfect snickerdoodles, Lori!
Beautiful color on them & I love how they all look a little different after they bake! Could go for a few with my coffee right now!
LOVE!! These are definitely a favorite around here. I firmly believe that no cookies smell better baking than Snickerdoodles.
Did you know that Martha Stewart’s Snickerdoodle recipe has NO Cream of Tartar? It’s true. And she calls herself an expert!! hmph
Crazy, just crazy…
love snickerdoodles! Although the kind I’ve made don’t have cream of tartar, so I’ll have to try this one so that I can see the difference 🙂
I totally agree….you need Cream of Tartar! one snicker doodles!
I still haven’t made snickerdoodles! OR tried them. Weird.
Snickerdoodles are my husband’s favorite! Those brown butter snickerdoodles sound amazing too!
Snicks are definitely one of my favorite cookies, too! They’re just so comforting. Great winter cookies, in my opinion.
These look such a gorgeous golden brown colour and I love how they crack! I don’t think I’ve ever had a snickerdoodle but I’m so wanting to try them now!
Never had a snickerdoodle??? Well, you must resolve that immediately!
These look great and ironically, last week I posted a recipe for Snickerdoodles w/ white choc chips and did a ton of research on what constitutes a sugar cookie vs. a snickerdoodle and the cream of tartar/baking soda/powder factors were mentioned.
It may not be technically a snickerdoodle b/c I didnt use cream of T, but honestly, they taste just like Mrs. Field’s snickerdoodles from the mall, which is all I cared to duplicate 🙂
I’ve never tasted Mrs. Field’s version, but if there is no cream of tartar in them then it wouldn’t taste like a snickerdoodle to me! I grew up eating these guys: cream of tartar + shortening are the must-haves for me!
Yes! Snickerdoodles have always been my favorite, too. I agree – ones without the cream of tartar are NOT true snickerdoodles. I’m so glad you pointed that out. I was actually smiling when I scrolled down to see the cream of tartar McCormick’s bottle:-) My mom always made these, too.