Snickerdoodles: sugar & spice cookie classic!
Snickerdoodles are undoubtably one of the Cookie Classics. I didn’t fully realize this until I made my most recent batch. You quickly find (in the universe of the internet) that Snickerdoodles are BIG! I was excited to try Ground 2 Table’s spice blend 12 (organic cinnamon, fenugreek, ginger, and nutmeg). As you can see, they turned out beautifully! The cookies had a complex delicious depth of flavors, with and without Ghirardelli chocolate chips. The instant I opened the spice packet, all these aromas poured out . . . and I knew these cookies would be close-your-eyes-good!
First of all, make yourself a cup of coffee. I looked at two recipes, primarily using the Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book version, but also noting some helpful aspects from Trisha Yearwood’s recipe. Interestingly, these two recipes were virtually identical. So these must be pretty definitive proportions!
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (or 8 tablespoons) soft room temperature unsalted butter
1/2 cup (or 8 tablespoons) vegetable shortening
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (Of course, you can use less according to your taste. I used 1 packet of Ground 2 Table’s spice blend 12, which was about 1 teaspoon. That was plenty!)
Put oven rack in the middle position, and preheat your oven to 375 degrees. I always use parchment paper on cookie sheets, which solves any sticking problems. In a small bowl, stir together the 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon or spice blend (adjusting to taste). In another bowl, thoroughly combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Set these bowls aside.
Using an electric mixer and large bowl, add the shortening, butter, and sugar. At medium speed, mix until completely smooth, about 5 minutes. Then add eggs, mixing for another minute until combined.
Adjust the mixer speed to low, and carefully add the mixture of flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Dough should form quickly, do not over-mix. At this point, I used a rounded tablespoon to measure out the dough so that each cookie would be the same size, and bake consistently. The dough should easily roll into balls, which you then roll in the sugar/spice mixture.
I used half of the dough making original Snickerdoodles. Then with the last half of the dough, I added 1/2 cup of Ghirardelli chocolate chips. The chocolate and spice combination is wonderful!
The balls of dough will spread out, so space about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet that you prepared. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Do not bake too long! The centers will be quite soft, edges starting to brown. As always, rotate the cookie sheet halfway through baking. After removing from oven, let cookies rest for 5 minutes on the sheet before carefully placing them on wire racks for complete cooling.
Yield is approximately 24 cookies.