Shut the front door.
These cookies are SO good.
So good that my mom made like a BAZILLION of them for the guests at our wedding.
During the week of the wedding, we had started to have less and less to give as gifts to our guests because my brothers and family friends kept stealing bags of them from the freezers.
Yes, freezers, plural. Confession: we had to invest in a new refrigerator and freezer just to store the 1,800 cookies my mom had baked for the wedding.
Unfortunately, these are some of the trickiest cookies to make.
One time I baked these longer than the recommended time because I thought, NO WAY can these be done yet!
Wrong. They came out like hockey pucks after they cooled.
And then I laid eight dozen snickerdoodles to rest in a trash can. It was very, very sad.
And then another time I doubled the recipe and forgot to put in, oh, that extra stick of butter that the recipe calls for? Whoops! They came out like sand.
Then I cried about it to my mom (#whitegirlproblems).
But good things will come to those who are patient.
So. Here are a few tips of advice I’ve picked up along the way for making the perfect snickerdoodle:
- Do not use any recipe other than Betty Crocker’s – the proportions are perfect. And do not substitute any of the ingredients such as the shortening or the sugars or the cream of tartar or soda as these ingredients are what makes it a true snickerdoodle.
- Really let the butter soften before you mix it, enough so that you can easily push your finger through it.
- A good way to tell that these snicks are done is to check and see if little air bubbles have formed at the top of the puff that forms during the baking process. That means that air is beginning to expel from the cookie, and they are done. I think this takes a little longer than the 8-10 minutes than the Betty Crocker recipe calls for. It takes more like 10-11 minutes, maybe up to 12 minutes if you’ve been opening your oven a lot. It all depends on the heat and quality of your oven. When in doubt, don’t overbake them.
- If you are lucky enough to have a convection oven, use it for these cookies. If not, it’s OK – they’ll still turn out great.
- If you think that they’re too hard after they’ve cooled, simply place the cookies in a sealed container or Ziploc bag along with a few slices of bread. They will become softer overnight, and you will be very relieved.
- These cookies travel well, as there is no chocolate bits or anything of the sort that will melt.
peaches & cake
Slightly adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book, 1963.
Makes 3-4 dozen cookies, depending how you roll the dough.
- ½ cup all-vegetable shortening (Crisco)
- ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, really softened (Land O’ Lakes)
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour (Gold Medal)
- 2 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Heat oven to 400° F. Take butter out of the fridge and let come to room temperature. Let it soften enough that you can easily push your finger through it.
Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; set aside.
Mix shortening, butter, and 1½ cups sugar in a large mixing bowl and blend until creamy.
Add in eggs one at a time and blend.
Gradually add in flour mixture. Let dough rest in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine 2 tbsp. sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
Shape dough into balls 1 ¼ inches in diameter, about 1 ¼ tablespoons-worth.
Roll balls in cinnamon sugar mixture.
Place 2 inches apart on an insulated baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake 10 to 11 minutes or until you see little air bubbles form in the middle, rotating once or twice during cooking. They will look underdone, but they are in fact done. These cookies puff up at first, then flatten out and harden after cooling.
Let cool for a few minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Store in a tightly sealed container. These cookies also freeze well.
*Note: If you think you have over-baked your cookies and that they’re too hard after they cool – don’t fret. Try placing the cookies in a sealed container or Ziploc bag along with a few slices of bread. They will become softer overnight.