These were the cookies I loved most as a kid. They’re all cake-y and buttery, with that 360-degree dusting of crunchy, sugary crystals on top; they always reminded me of cinnamon toast, only better. I’m not sure where my mom’s original recipe comes from — it’s hand-written, in her cursive, on a recipe card so old and well-used that it’s practically translucent with butter grease — but I’m guessing it’s something classic, like Fanny Farmer or The Joy of Cooking. It’s got that simple, no-frills quality to it. You can think of snickerdoodles as the Ford F150 of cookies. They’re solid, sturdy, reliable. They’re not gonna win any fancy-pants awards, they’re too humble to get you the girl, but they’re also not going to let you down, either. There’s a certain underdog quality to them, for sure. If you want bells and whistles, you won’t find ’em here. But if you want something that works…
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, mix together:
1 cup softened unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a separate bowl, sift together:
2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Gradually mix in the dry mixture to the wet mixture until it’s all blended. Wrap dough in parchment paper and chill for about one hour in freezer.
Remove dough from freezer and form round balls of dough the size of small walnuts. Roll balls in mixture of 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (the key!).
Bake for 8 minutes and cool on a rack. Makes 5 dozen 2-inch cookies.
Major, major props. I love snickerdoodles. And I loved singing the entire score to the Wizard of Oz with my dad when I was a kid. Almost as much as I enjoy it now, 25 years later.
I love that she ruined the remainder of the cookies.
Snickerdoodles are the best cookie around! I love them.
Very funny post. We have 4 year old twins and we joke that Dad is their fashion stylist – he is much better than me. Not got him on cookie baking yet, but there’s hope. Must try them on my little Yanks, I grew up in the UK so never had them. Thanks for the recipe. LOVE this blog!
Jenny, what is wrong with you?! My husband would get some major props for *baking cookies*… I would not dream of complaining or discouraging him.
Tell Jenny the next time she has the urge to ruin some buttery sugary yummy cookies, she should box them up and send them to me instead. Shocking!
I have some great photos of my husband sporting every barrette, hair clip and headband that our then 5 year old daughter owned. A dad’s gotta do what a dad’s gotta do.
i’m a girl who was gotten by a Ford F-150! and your version of these cookies look so good, but i actually can’t bring myself to say the name of them, because i hate the name so much (and find it misleading–when i’d first heard of them, i thought they were more Snickers-y; i assumed caramel and peanuts were involved). but now i want to make these. Sea salt: Hmmph!
Priceless! I am now printing this out and forcing my husband to read it for weekend activity inspiration!
Hooray for you! My husband, who is also Dad to two girls, has done many of the mentioned things as well as other girly activities. Dads of little girls get extra-manly credit in my book! The need it to survive the level of hormones in the house at any given moment. =)
Andy- Great post (bro!). As a dad of 2 girls, I’m feelin you on this. We do what we gotta do. Sometimes hard to distinguish btwn surrender monkey and just having fun with the kiddos on their level. More power to you.
Great post! Nothin’ wrong with a cookie-making husband, mine can sometimes even plan ahead and get butter out to soften (he claims its more precise than using the microwave…).
This post made me giggle. While we have no children, your story reminded me of the many places and things my dad had to endure with me, the only girl and the baby to boot. No I have a wonderful hubby who complains about having his guy card revoked if he’s caught in Hobby Lobby (or the like), but he goes along any way.
These are my dad’s favorite cookies and the recipe I use is out of a book called The Wellesley Cookie Exchange and their version uses cream of tartar in the batter.
A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.
Love snickerdoodles, and admire a man who makes them. We make them often, sometimes with cream of tartar, sometimes without, and I still don’t understand the function of the cream of tartar, or the difference it makes. Anybody know?
I totally get ruining the cookies. Makes perfect sense to me. Funny post.
Clearly Jenny and I need to talk. I would fall over backwards if my husband suggested making . . . ANYTHING with my children. Snickerdoodles sound divine!
Right now I’m off to throw water on last night’s brownies so I can give these a try.
Oh how I wish for a man that cooks full stop. Cooks Snickerdoodles, heaven help me! I only tasted Snickerdoodles in my twenties, but my reason is that I’m in Australia and they’re not a common choice.
I would have a heart attack if my husband attempted this with my son – keep it up!! What you did totally rocks.
Mmmmm. I need to bake these now.
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Awesome! Can’t wait to try!
This had me laughing so hard! Not only are snickerdoodles my favorite cookie, but my husband is the father to two very girly girls. Kudos to all the fathers out there who are involved in their daughters’ lives. Last night my husband had our 4-year old “Flipping Fish”- his fun term for dredging Tilapia, which she still can’t pronounce 🙂
This struck a chord for the following reason!
-Great, funny post…
-My husband and I debate periodically as to whether these are called “cinnamon-sugar cookies” (his) or “snickerdoodles (mine). Apparently, someone figured he couldn’t say the word when he was a kid (as if cinnamon is easy)but he has very fond memories of cinnamon-sugar cookies and will admit that they really do taste surprisingly similar to snickerdoodles. He will not concede that they are in fact the very same cookie.
-I hate the word snickerdoodles
-My husband is also a father to two girls
-There are times when I feel I need to collect my husband’s man card as a result of witnessing interactions between him and my daughters but then I think, “hey, they’re all perfectly happy” and it beats him coming up with what he thinks are innocent activities such as “hey, we’re dancing already, why not let them dance on the table!”…”um, because honey, it’s dangerous and it’s not dancing on a table, it’s a table dance”…
just read this and had my husband read it as well- we have a 3 month old daughter. I’m sure there will be many snickerdoodle moments in our future. great post, it had us laughing so hard we almost woke the baby.
These are WONDERFUL! Thanks.
We love you, Jenny! Really, we do. But, please, MORE Andy posts!!! What a team you are!
Andy – you are spot on. My brother-in-law’s each have three girls. They do many “unmanly” things on a daily basis but their girls love them for it and don’t know any different.
“I read your newsletter, do I win the Jane Marvel tote?
“I read your newsletter, do I win the Jane Marvel tote?”
Love snickerdoodle article
love your book! And snicker doodles were my always go to for school cookie sales! Yummy but my recipe had 1 tsp cream of tarter and no need for refrig time…any reasons for that?
Love this post. My kids are almost helpless to the power of the Snickerdoodle – like paperclips to a magnet. The first thing they are attracted to at the bakery. Can’t wait to make these. Wish my husband had the desire to bake with the kids. Someday…maybe?
I got my snickerdoodle recipe from the grandma helper who spent mornings in my kindergarten class tying shoes and feeding the kids cookies at recess. And as for Jenny, sometimes you have to force your hand. I’m sure she’ll adapt.
Isn’t snickerdoodle a cute word?
next time freeze them or give them away: pleeease!
Such a funny post, I made these today and they’re great! Just wanted to point out that the recipe states to heat the oven at the beginning, but midway through to freeze the dough. Not a big deal I just turned it off and reheated the oven, but I figured I’d point it out in case others make these (delicious) cookies!
We made these snickerdoodles tonight to pass out to our neighbors this weekend and wow they were delicious. Thank for the inspiration!
I make snickerdoodles regularly (my husband loves them…and our daughter, who he still thinks he will turn into a tomboy – ha!) but I haven’t tried sea salt on the outside. I am definitely doing that next time. And my husband will disown me for messing with yet another classic recipe! Ah well, maybe this time I’ll actually get to eat more than one 😉
How do these cookies puff up if no cream of tartar? I made them last week and followed the recipe exactly. Came out totally flat like sugar cookies. No height at all to them. Tasty but disappointing.
Four and a half years later and this is still my cookie recipe of choice. Making them for the billionth time tonight. Thanks!
So curious…he did not use cream of tartar, and added sea salt. Hmmmm.