It wasn't Christmas at my house until we had Snickerdoodles. Did you know that the name Snickerdoodle supposedly comes from the German word Schneckennudeln? It means "snail dumpling." Weird, right? However, I still love them.
These are great to freeze. I baked a few dozen for Brad and then froze the rest of the rolled balls of dough to be used on Baking Day 2008. It looks all important when I bold it like that.
I doubled the recipe for these cookies, which is why there are 4 eggs in the picture and yet I am going to tell you to use 2. I doubt that you will need 8 dozen Snickerdoodles at your house, so I will give you the recipe that yields roughly 4 dozen. If your husband, or whomever you have at your house, is obsessed with these cookies like my dear husband is, then you can easily double the recipe.
For 4 dozen-ish cookies, you will need: 1/2 cup butter, softened, 1/2 cup Crisco shortening, 1 1/2 cups white sugar, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons of a good quality vanilla extract, 2-3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of fresh cream of tartar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt and additional granulated sugar and ground cinnamon for rolling the cookies in.
I must insist that you have fresh cream of tartar and baking soda. If you don't, then the cookies will spread and burn while they cook. It won't be pretty. I use my cream of tartar for Snickerdoodles, and Snickedoodles only, so I buy fresh cream of tartar every December. It is a must. Trust me.
This is very basic stuff. Cream together the softened butter, shortening and granulated sugar.
Beat until light and fluffy.
Add in the eggs one at a time. Beat well after each addition. Add the vanilla. Mix well.
Sift the flower, cream of tartar and baking soda. If you don't sift, you end up with little lumps and clumps in your dough. Not good.
Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Once again, DO NOT over mix the dough. Mix until just barely combined. You want your cookies to be light and fluffy, not to be used as hockey pucks.
Once the dough has been thoroughly mixed, roll the dough into balls. I would tell you how big they are, if I only knew. If you are going to freeze the dough for later use, stop here. Freeze the balls of dough individually on a plate or cookie sheet until frozen through. Then you can store them in a Ziploc bag until you are ready to bake them. Just throw them in the refrigerator the night before you want to bake them and they will be ready and waiting for you the next day!
Mix together white granulated sugar and ground cinnamon. Just eyeball it. I like lots of cinnamon, so I always add in quite a bit.
Roll the balls of cookie dough in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. No rocket science here.
Transfer the cinnamon/sugar balls of cookies dough to a cookie sheet lined in parchment paper. You will bake these in the oven at 400 degrees for exactly 8 minutes. As long as your oven is really and actually at 400 degrees, 8 minutes will be perfect.
Remove the cookie sheet and let the cookies rest for about 20-30 seconds. This should be just the right amount of time for them to rest long enough so that you are able to transfer them to a cooling rack. You don't want to leave them on the cookie sheet because they will continue to cook. You don't want that. You want them to be light brown underneath, so transfer them as soon as possible. After 30 seconds I was able to easily use a spatula to move my cookies from the cookie sheet to the cooling rack.
Crispy around the edges, chewy on the inside. The perfect cookie. Just add milk.
Since the Snickerdoodles are technically Day 4 of the 12 Days of Cookies, I will add in Day 5: Candy Cane Blossoms.
How goes your holiday baking?