The other night I had to run to the grocery store.
I generally do everything humanly possible to not take all of my children to the store with me at the same time, but this particular night I had no choice. It was just about bed time and everyone was cranky already when I realized I would need to pack them all up to get some things I’d need early the next morning. It was as chaotic as I had predicted, with general arguments and whining ensuing over which two would get to drive in the race car part of the cart, why we couldn’t buy doughnuts and Cheetos, and why Mom made them put back the 12 packs of gum they grabbed while in the check-out lane. By the time I was trying to get everyone back into the car to head home, almost everyone was screaming (including me.)
I was half-bent over in the car trying to get car-seats buckled without getting kicked in the face, when I emerged and saw a gentleman standing at the end of my car. With a sweet smile he said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you, I just wanted to see if I could offer you a hand. Can I take your cart for you?” I assumed he was passing by on his way into the store anyway and thanked him kindly. My cart was still full of groceries so we quickly unloaded them. The man told me he had a few grandchildren now, but he had raised three boys of his own and remembered what it was like to have your hands full.
We only chatted for a brief moment; I thanked him again and off he went, wheeling my giant race car cart back into to the store. As I was driving away, I noticed the man coming back out of the store. It wasn’t until then that I realized he had armfuls of his own groceries and he had trekked all the way across the parking lot to help me before returning to his own car.
And that’s when I felt a few little girly tears welling up in my eyes. And I suddenly felt an immense surge of gratitude for someone I didn’t know, for an act of kindness that was so simple, yet so meaningful to a stressed out, tired Momma at the end of a long day.
I wish I knew who that man was so I could thank him with a big plate of cookies, now that I’m not so frazzled. But since I don’t, I’m going to serve up some virtual cookies in his honor and as a little reminder of how important it is to look beyond ourselves and find opportunities to do kind deeds, and also to pay it forward when they’re received. I’m so thankful for little reminders of goodness in the world. It seems the media, and social media are constantly throwing the disturbing, the depressing, and the shocking in our faces that sometimes it’s nice to recognize plain ol’ warm fuzzy moments. Here’s to you Mr. sweet-parking-lot-guy-who-made-my-night. Have a virtual cookie!
Sometimes “snickerdoodle” recipes are nothing more than sugar cookies, rolled in cinnamon sugar. And sometimes they’re puffed and fluffy. A true snickerdoodle isn’t fluffy; it’s chewy. It should sink down after baking so it gets a crinkly top and perhaps most importantly, it should have a signature tang, from this:
Start by creaming a combination of butter and shortening, with sugar for several minutes. Then add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Do you have one of these beaters for your KitchenAid? You should.
The dough is quite soft; don’t don’t don’t add more flour.
Roll the dough into balls and give them a dip in some cinnamon-sugar. Give your finger a dip too.
Place them on parchment lined cookie sheets, and remember they’ll spread, so give them a little space.
That’s how they get those beautiful crackly tops. After they’ve cooled, they’ll flatten out even more.
When cooked just right; they’re perfection. And when cooked just wrong- they actually still taste super good, so either way you’ll get your yumminess.
Fill up your cookie jar, or eat a few and then hide them in the depths of your freezer if you have no self control. Like
me no one I know.
Once cooled, those slightly under-cooked centers become perfectly cooked and yield a soft, chewy, buttery, interior.
Go on. You know you want to make them.
Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodles
- Yield: 2
A true Snickerdoodle recipe, in all of it’s glory!
- 1 3/4 cups sugar (12.25 oz), divided
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 1/2 cups (12.5 oz) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt*
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter* (not margarine) at room temp
- 8 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 2 large eggs
- *if using salted butter, just omit table salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon in shallow dish and set aside. Whisk flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl.
- Beat butter, shortening, and remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-6 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.
- Reduce speed of mixer to low and slowly add flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Give dough final stir to ensure that no flour pockets remain.
- Working with 2 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll into balls. Working in batches, roll dough balls in cinnamon sugar mixture to coat and set on prepared baking sheet spaced 2 inches apart.
- Bake 1 sheet at a time until edges of cookies are set and just barely beginning to brown, but centers are still soft and puffy, about 10-12 minutes. The cookies should look raw between the cracks and seem underdone. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Makes about 2 dozen 3-4 inch cookies.
And now for the questions-I-already-know-are-coming section…
Q: These look great! But can I leave out the cream of tartar or substitute something else? I don’t have any and I think it tastes funny.
A: No ma’am. Or sir. Or whoever you happen to be. In the words of CI, “Cream of tartar is essential to the flavor of these cookies and it works in combination with the baking soda to give the cookies lift; do not substitute baking powder.” If you don’t like cream of tartar, then guess what? You don’t like Snickerdoodles! Make a sugar cookie instead.
Q: Did you know that shortening causes obesity, birth defects, chronic foot odor, and the avian bird flu? It’s true. I refuse to use it, and you should too. After I’m done lobbying congress to stop the production of Crisco, can I make these with all butter?
A: Can you make them with butter? Of course you can. You could also make them with margarine, applesauce, or a bucket of rocks. You all should know by now how much we support butter usage, so of course they will taste yummy. But shortening plays a key role in this cookie. Combined with the butter it gives optimal texture while allowing the flavor of the butter to come through. If you leave the shortening out, cookies will spread more, have a crispier texture, and lack chewiness. Will they taste good? Of course! Just know we call for ingredients for a reason.
Q: Hi, I want to make these but I live in [insert foreign country of your choice here] so I don’t understand all this nonsense about cups and tablespoons. Can you please convert the recipe to every other existing measuring system for me?
A: One word, my friend: Google.
Q: Sara, how do you know all the things we’re going to ask before we ask them??
A: I’m a genius.
I for one LOVE the taste of Cream Of Tartar. I’ve never spooned it out of the jar and fed it to myself, but i’ve considered it. I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t like it’s slightly metalic taste.
I’m going to make a batch of these babies for my Opthemologist neighbor who recently diagnosed pink eye and handed me drops for my infected daughter’s eyes late Saturday night. It was such a relief not to go to Instacare and then the late night pharmacy.
Thanks for the kind guesture idea.
By the way, I gave all my neighbors uncooked snickerdoodle balls for a Christmas gift this year, only I called them Sokoldoodles. Clever eh?
Well, thanks a lot. I’ve never been a fan of snickerdoodles, and now I’m going to have to try these. I need cookies around like a hole in the head.
On a more serious note, and referring back to your (very funny) FAQ, I don’t generally have veggie shortening around. (OK, go ahead and sigh.) But (and this will probably sound really strange) I do have lard. Any idea if lard would be a suitable substitute for shortening? I’ve often wondered, but have never had the courage to try it.
Honestly Wendy, I’ve never cooked with lard before so I’m not sure! The good thing about shortening is that it lasts a really long time, so you can get some and keep it in your pantry even if you don’t use it very often.
I used a lard / butter combination to make this recipe last night, and it came out absolutely perfect. I buy the Armor brand stuff in the big tub (ha ha), which you can use exactly the same way you’d use vegetable shortening (and like vegetable shortening, it also does not require refrigeration).
I love everything about this post, from the sweet man in the parking lot to the Q&A at the end. Plus, snickerdoodles were my favorite cookies from childhood (and the 2nd ones I learned to make on my own) cream of tartar and all!
Oh Thank You Thank You! I know exactly what you mean and how you feel taking your kids to the store! It’s almost always a a nightmare for me! I wanted to say thanks for this recipe. I lost my beloved snicker-doodles recipe and I have missed it so! And yes, there is NO substitution for the Cream of Tartar!
Thanks for sharing your grocery store experience with us! It brings back memories of all the simple but profound acts of kindness that have blessed my life. Thank you as well for the snicker doodle recipe. It’ll be the perfect treat to make with the kids on this looooong, snowy afternoon!
Oh! And loved the Q and A. Made me giggle through my tears 🙂
Loved, loved, LOVED the story about the parking-lot-gentleman and your FAQ’s were spot on! When my daughter & son were very young, we were caught in a torrential downpour of Biblical proportions in the grocery store parking lot! As I struggled to get my babies in their car seats and my groceries in the back before they were totally ruined, a gentleman appeared with not one, but two umbrellas that he used to shield me AND my cart full of groceries from the rain! It made a huge impact on me – so much so that I determined to raise my kids (especially the future gentleman) to try to think in that same way. Needless to say that I was brought to girly tears recently when my (now 21 year-old) son jumped out of his car in the store parking lot to help a woman who had fallen on a patch of black ice. (Thankfully I was still in the car so he didn’t get embarassed by my mooshiness! 🙂 Thanks for your wonderful blog and all of your great recipes…..oh, and for letting me stroll down memory lane here! 🙂
I’ve been looking for a good snickerdoodle recipe. They’re not my favorite, but I have some friends and family members that LOVE them. Thanks for the recipe! By the way, I love the photos! I want one of those little milk bottles!
Love the Q&A. Lol.
You’re also a genius for knowing that I’ve been wanting to try Snickerdoodles and was disappointed not to find a recipe in the OBB recipe index–which is the first place I look when I want to make something new. Your timing with this recipe is perfect for me.
I’ve used vinegar instead of cream of tartar in ‘my’ snickerdoodle recipe before with great success. 🙂
Really? I might try that 🙂
Snickerdoodles were one of the first things we made in cooking class in 7th grade- thanks for the trip down memory lane! I noticed the paddle on your mixer is not the standard issue kitchen aid paddle. I think it’s just what I need. Mine never seems to reach the edges of the bowl and I am forever using a spatula to blend the ingredients. Would you mind sharing where you found it? I’ve seen them on amazon but do not know which brand would be best.
PS. Why doens’t kitchen aid include it as their standard? Seems like it would be a big help!
Most cooking supply stores carry those beaters.
In Australia the beaters are sold as Kitchenaid but when I asked why they weren’t included I was told that while they are endorsed by Kitchenaid they aren’t made by the company but rather a subsidiary. I think that is right. Also check before you use them as non-genuine ones can void your warranty – if there is any left on it!!!
Love Snickerdoodles! I have to share this recipe I found. I made it for my dad’s birthday and the frosting is TO DIE FOR!!!! I love food, but don’t get super excited about it very often. Allow me to repeat: the frosting is TO DIE FOR!!!! http://www.foodiewithfamily.com/2011/08/26/snickerdoodle-cake-with-brown-sugar-cinnamon-buttercream/
Your story just made me start bawling. I hunger for stories of goodness in the world. There’s too many bad stories on the news and I think it tends to warp my mind. Thanks so much for sharing that! And the recipe…can’t wait to make them!! Pinning right now.
Even though I already knew the story about the man helping you with the cart, it still made me cry. I like nice people. I don’t like mean people, and it seems that if you watch any amount of news, you only hear about the mean people. So thanks for putting your story on the blog.
My Snickerdoodle recipe is very similar to yours (it uses both butter and shortening, and cream of tartar). Maybe I’ll have to bake up a batch of each recipe and do a taste test! Wow, can you imagine how many cookies will be lying around here if I do that? Probably not many because Snickerdoodles are so yummy! I only bake mine for 8 minutes. Over-baking is the worst!
I noticed in the photos that you used rimmed pans to bake the cookies. I might have missed this somewhere but I always thought cookies had to be baked on rim-less cookie sheets. Or is this this like putting a baby in a crib – on tummy or or depends on how you were taught and current wisdom at the time?
Thanks for the story and the recipe!
It really makes no difference in terms of baking. Rimless sheets are simply easier to maneuver a spatula through, and have slightly different dimensions. But in terms of baking surface, there’s not much difference.
(Then again, all my babies are tummy sleepers, so maybe I’m just a rebel? 😉
I purchase all my spices from a little Amish community less than 30 minutes from my home. The last time I went to buy cream of tartar, they told me about angel cream which is what they use. I can’t tell a difference between the two and the angel cream was a lot less expensive than the cream of tartar.
Just a little FYI: Did you know that you can make a paste out of hydrogen peroxide and cream of tartar to get rust stains out of fabric? I know. Weird.
Huh, good to know!
My husband recently informed me that he LOVES snickerdoodles (after being together for 10 years, he finally shares this) so I’ll have to get me some cream of tartar & get baking! Love the Q&A by the way–made my morning!
Don’t you love when husbands do that?! Especially since we ask those type of questions all the time! Lol 🙂
These look fantastic. I love all your FAQ at the end of your post! I would have substituted butter (without asking, mind you – I just routinely do that in any recipe that calls for shortening) but since you posted about the need for shortening I guess I’ll buy a tiny bit and use it! Snickerdoodles are one of those treats that has lots of girlhood memories for me. I’m excited to make these for my boys. Thanks for posting!
I remember these from when I was young too. We always used the cream of tartar and I know I love the cookie, but I didn’t think the cream of tartar tasted like anything. will have to buy some fresh and make a batch, just to be sure!
ps- made the tin can treats for Valentines’ Day and it was a huge success! I have “grown” kids and the starbucks card fit in there perfectly- funny though, my 18 year old daughter couldn’t figure how to pop open the top!
I actually experimented and tried baking with all-butter and half-butter/half-shortening, and I actually found that the half-shortening cookies were slightly cakey. Both are delicious though!!! (Thanks Sara!) 🙂 However, I liked the all-butter ones more – because they had a better chew. If you’re worried about them spreading, just chill the dough for a bit before baking!
So, I’m pretty much an OBB groupie. I seriously love you two. I use recipes from the website several times EVERY week! Just curious if there will ever be an OBB iphone app? Not that it’s such a big deal to type it in to my web browser, but just curious 🙂 Thanks for what you’ve done for this girl’s “casserole and spahetti upbringing”!
Yes! That’s all I’m saying for now 🙂
can I make a special request for a Windows phone app also, not all of us are on the iphone!
I literally just squealed!
I’m so excited!! I found your website 3 days ago, and love it! Humor, excellent recipes, loads of pictures… Only taking it mobile could make it better. Oh, and I rarely buy cookbooks, but yours is going on my Christmas list. (If nobody buys it for me, well, then Merry Christmas to me, from me!)
Sara, you are an awesome baker and a GREAT writer, too! Thanks for helping my day start out well!
It takes a village is what runs through my head! I too like the pre q & a section. And although I do think its a bit ironic that I’m waiting for my two hour, after eight hours of fasting, gestational diabetes test reading this, great post and looks like a great recipe!
Thanks Sara for making me laugh and cry on this beautiful Monday morning. What a great story and paying it forward is the way to go. The cookies look great:)
Snickerdoodles. My most favorite cookie!!!!
These can be rolled in a combination of sugar and pumpkin pie spice in the fall. 🙂
Yum yum yum! That is an awesome suggestion, Ailene! Thanks!
Vegetable shortening, we’re talking butter flavored crisco, right?
Yep! You can use butter flavored, or unflavored- either works. I usually use butter flavored.
Your pre-conceived question/answer sessions are almost like therapy to me because they say the things I want to say. Sometimes I read the comments sections and think about how I could never write a blog that was so useful, because people seem to become so dependant on it, and start asking all sorts of crazy questions like the blogger is now the authority on anything even slightly related to the blog topic. Your “Google” answer cracked me up because that’s what I sort of say out loud to myself when I read a lot of these questions. Now, I do appreciate comments where people say “I didn’t have *this* so I decided to use *that* and it worked totally awesome (or flopped)” because that is helpful. Questions like “Your beef stew recipe looks awesome, but I’m allergic to beef and I don’t like stew. Could you recommend some substitutions”….those are just baffling really. Okay, okay…rant over. Anyway, thanks for calling people out on that nonsense.
They’re therapy for me too 😉 Your beef comment made me laugh out loud, because that literally happens every day around here, haha.
Thanks for the laugh and the warm fuzzies Sara. I know how it is having cranky kids at the grocery store (or any place for that matter), I’m glad that you had an angel to help you when you needed it and that there are still people out there willing to be that angel. I love snickerdoodles, thank you for the recipe.
What a great story! And reading your Q&A made me smile 🙂 I use part shortening and part butter in my chocolate chip cookies for texture as well (the flattened, crispy, all butter Nestle Tollhouse version just doesn’t do it for me) and I’ve found a nice compromise in the butter flavored Crisco. It gives me the texture I want along with the extra buttery flavor of an all butter cookie.
Something about shortening scares me, so I like to use all-butter. (Mmm. More flavor!) Luckily, my cookies don’t spread at all! I found that if I chill the dough before baking, the cookies bake up nice and thick!
I have 3 small boys as well and must look pretty helpless, because I have had people (angles, really) help me like that twice recently. Both times I felt like it was the nicest service I have ever received and I hope I can remember to do the same when I don’t have children with me anymore. And for some reason, I didn’t think of eating a cookie for them. Silly me! The snickerdoodles look great!
It’s like you put the “or Sir” in there just for me! I feel like I’m the only male participant here most of the time.
Question that Sara forgot:
Being a single male college student, I’m too poor/lazy to run out and buy unsalted butter when I already have salted butter. How much salt should I hold out of this recipe when I make this?
Oh, but I didn’t forget (see I am a genius!) In the recipe I noted that if you use salted butter (like I do) you can omit the table salt entirely.
And you bet the “sir” was *just* for you Mark 😉 I know for a fact we have lots of male readers, but they don’t speak up and comment very often- we appreciate that you do!
My mistake. It seems you did. Either that or you cleverly added that in while it wasn’t looking. Either way, bravo!
I am glad I am not the only male reader on here. I feel kind of bad at times as most of this is geared towards girls but I do more of the cooking in my house, or at least I enjoy it more than my wife does.
Hello Nate! I’m glad you spoke up, we always like to hear from our signature MEN! 🙂
Nate — your wife is a lucky lady!! Men who can cook are awesome!! (My man cooks quite a bit too, and I love it!) ~mama pris
I substituted Coconut oil for the crisco because its better for you, and its a similar texture. I kept the butter as called for, of course. And together, they made a soft chewy cookie that tasted great. Just thought I would pass that along as a good tip if you are worried about consuming shortening. Thanks for the great recipe!
Good tip, thanks Jennifer! I don’t use shortening, so was just wondering if I should add extra butter, but it sounds like coconut oil would work too. Do you soften it at all?