Having not baked in a long time, I decided to put on the figurative apron (I don’t actually wear one, although I probably would if I had a cool enough one) and transform myself into a figurative domestic goddess. The thing is that I am a perfectionist, and every time I bake something always goes wrong (or at least not the way I planned). Like I have said in multiple blog posts, baking in autumn is a necessity. It needs to happen. Okay? I had my eye on this recipe for snickerdoodles for a long, long time. Prior to this, I had never eaten snickerdoodles. I don’t think they’re a thing here in South Africa. When I told my mother and boyfriend what I was going to bake, they stared at me with confused expressions as if I was going cray (to be fair, they’re probably right). If you’re in the same boat, prepare to be educated!
In short, snickerdoodles are cinnamony-sugary cookies. Like a cinnamon doughnut, they are literally rolled in a mixture of cinnamon and castor sugar and then baked. What makes snickerdoodles different to any ordinary cinnamon cookie is that they contain cream of tartar, which apparently gives them that traditional “snickerdoodle” taste. Just as a bit of a side note, cream of tartar is not liquid, so don’t go looking for it amongst the milk and yogurt (unlike some people, *cough* Paul *cough*). You can probably find it by the baking soda (baking soda is also powder!) and other baking goods.
I used a recipe from Cookies & Cups because Shelly, the author, called them “perfect snickerdoodles“. The pictures looked extremely YUM and there was some good feedback, so it seemed like a winner! However, something went a tad bit wrong…So, as you can see, they look a bit like a sugarcoated version of Hagrid’s rock cakes. Actually, they probably look exactly like a sugarcoated version of Hagrid’s rock cakes. To be honest, I don’t know why. Now that I think of it, I guess I may have used Stork baking margarine rather than real butter (but hey, Stork is supposed to be good for these things!) and I may have accidentally converted Fahrenheit to Celsius incorrectly. Is that the reason why my freaken snickerdoodles didn’t spread? Who knows?! I did a bit of research on this conundrum and it seems like the only possible reasons include the oven temperature, the temperature and expiry date of your ingredients, and the colour of your baking sheet (apparently a dark baking sheet means less spreading). I guess these are things to keep in mind.
BUT, before you close the tab on this #bakingfail take note that they actually really do taste good! In fact, my household and Paul went a bit nuts over these. They are that good! I think I may have even heard something along the lines of “these are the best cookies I’ve had”, or something like that. Despite the look, they are soft on the inside and are far from having the texture of a rock. A huge bonus is that they are so quick and easy to make, the dough doesn’t even need to be cooled!NOTE: Although the instructions refer to an electric mixer, I don’t think that it is a must. Feel free to use your whisk!
The recipe is perfect, I do believe that. Although I don’t have anything to compare the taste to, I am more than content knowing that this is as good as it’s going to get. Next time, however, (and there will be a next time very soon) I will get the temperature correct on the oven and try to use real butter instead of Stork (although I don’t believe the butter was the problem). I really want to make them look as good as they taste, otherwise I might as well call up Harry Potter World for a little business proposal…
- Butter; room temperature (1 cup)
- Castor sugar (3/4 cup)
- Light brown sugar (1/2 cup)
- Egg (1)
- Egg Yolk (1)
- Vanilla extract (1 tbsp)
- Baking soda (1 tsp)
- Cream of tartar (1 tsp)
- Salt (1/2 tsp)
- Cinnamon (1 tsp)
- Flour (2 and 3/4 cup)
- Castor sugar (1/4 cup)
- Cinnamon (1 tbsp)
- Preheat oven to 160°C.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or whatever other fancy contraption you have for this) and set aside.
- In a bowl, beat the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes.
- With the mixer on a medium speed, add in the egg, yolk and vanilla, and beat for another minute. (Remember to scrape the sides!)
- Turn the mixer to medium-low and mix in the baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and cinnamon for 30 seconds. *See Note
- Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour, mixing until it is just combined.
- In a separate small bowl make your cinnamon sugar by mixing together cinnamon and sugar until they are evenly combined.
- Measure out about 2 tbsp of dough and roll into a ball. Then roll each cookie dough ball into the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Place the dough balls on your prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 10 minutes, turning cookie sheet halfway through baking. **See Note
- *The recipe calls for kosher salt. I used pink himalayan salt (that's all we had) and it tasted perfect. I just used a tad bit less because salt makes me nervous and 1/2 tsp just seemed like a lot.
- **Shelly says: "The tops may seem slightly undercooked, but they will firm up perfectly when they cool. If you prefer a crisper cookie, bake for 2 additional minutes."