If you’ve ever bought a cookie during the holiday season, you’ve likely seen one called a “snickerdoodle.” Unlike how they sound, these cookies have nothing to do with “Snickers.” Traditional versions of this New England treat use cream of tartar in the recipe, BUT if you don’t happen to have that in your pantry and you need a quick snack to take to work or a party, we substitute that chemical reaction with brown sugar! One other element for a slight variation that we add to give the flavor a more balanced, “nutty” flavor is to brown the butter. Here’s how:
½ C Dark/light brown sugar
1 C granulated Sugar
3 C AP Flour
¼ t cinnamon
¼ t nutmeg
1 t baking soda
½ t salt
1 C (2 sticks) butter, browned (salted is fine)
1 t water
3 Grade A Large Eggs, room temp
1 t vanilla extract
¼ C granulated sugar
1 T ground cinnamon
¼ t nutmeg
Heavy bottomed pot
Bowl for butter to cool
Cookie/Ice cream scoop
Medium bowl for cinnamon sugar
First things first, we must brown the butter so that it can cool. In a heavy bottomed sauce pot, place cubed butter over medium-low heat swirling periodically until melted. Then with a spatula, keep stirring the butter until it releases a nutty aroma and becomes “frothy.” You’ll start to see it separate the whey, keep mixing it until there browned bits that come up in the froth. Once this is complete, immediately remove the butter from pot to allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 425DegF; Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the sugars together first and then add in spices, salt, baking soda and flour, set aside. If you’re impatient like I am, I break the 3 eggs into a bowl, whisk and temper them with the browned butter. Add the vanilla and water (this is to replace water that will have cooked out during the browning process). Add the Wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix with a spoon until it comes together. The dough will be thick.
Whisk together the granulated sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. With a cookie/ice cream scoop, portion out the dough onto the lined cookie sheets. Once the cookie sheet is full and the spacing is set, take each mound of dough and roll it between the palm of your hands until a smooth ball forms. Roll this in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place back onto the baking sheet. Once all balls are coated, take the bottom of a glass and flatten the sugar dough balls. Bake each between 7-9 minutes. Rotating pans ½ way through. I like to make a “cookie factory” by getting one pan done on the top wrack and then ½ way through transfer ½ baked pan to bottom, inserting the next pan into the top.
Once the snickerdoodles are baked, allow them to cool for 2-3 minutes on the pan and remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
The BEST part about these cookies is that they’ll last 7-10 days in an airtight container without going stale. SO, a bake ahead is very simple for a busy time like the holidays.