I love everything about snickerdoodles. They are easy to make using common pantry staples. They are a light cookie and with some minor changes you can create a soft or a crisp cookie. Oh, and of course who can ignore the name? “Snickerdoodles” are drop cookies topped with cinnamon sugar that are cited in print from at least 1889. They were very popular in New England and Pennsylvania during this time. There are a few different beliefs about where the name came from. According to Wikipedia, some believe the cookies have a Dutch or German origin with their name being interpreted from the German word Schneckennudeln, or cinnamon-dusted sweet rolls. Some even believe the name originates from a series of tall tales around a hero named Snickerdoodle from the early 1900s.
In my research, I compiled some of the early recipes (the oldest from 1889) to show in comparison for the common recipes used today. This is what I found:
(Click on picture for larger view)
There are also many recipes that use only butter (1 cup) and eliminate the shortening all together. My favorite always goes back to the Betty Crocker (recipe below) method. They are so easy to put together and always bake up golden and crackly – and store quite wonderfully for several days. I often double the recipe, preparing all of the cookies, and then freezing half. The frozen cookie dough is easy to pull out and bake as many or as few cookies as needed.
Soooo… My conclusion? There a many recipes for this “strangely” named tasty cookie, and many preferences for their texture. Whether you like your snickerdoodles soft, crisp or a combination of both, this petite cinnamon dusted delight is treasured by all ages.
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 2 eggs
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar (4 tablespoons)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Heat oven to 400ºF.
Mix 1 1/2 cups sugar, the butter, shortening and eggs in large bowl. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.
Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Mix 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls in cinnamon sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cooking pan. Cook 8 – 10 minutes or until set. **I set the time for seven minutes, then watch them very closely. When the cookies just begin to form cracks and thier color is a light brown, I remove them. Cool them on the cookie sheet about 2 minutes then remove to rack to cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen
Links to this info:
Update: After viewing this recipe at Dine & Dish, I remembered doing this post and wanted to go back and check the difference between my favorite recipe and the Mrs. Siggs recipe – I realized the only difference was the sugar at the end – Mrs. Siggs calls for 3 tablespoons, while the Betty Crocker calls for 1/4 cup, i.e. 4 Tablespoons… I actually prefer more cinnamon taste, so I will be going with Mrs. Siggs from now on!