Today is National Sugar Cookie day (and what I’m supposed to be writing about in today’s blog)… but, I’m not going to write about sugar cookies, because they’re not my favorite. What you see over there in the picture is a stack of perfection, also known as a stack of Snickerdoodles (yes, I capitalized it, they mean that much).
Now, from the uninitiated, I’ll get the, “Yeah, but aren’t snickerdoodles just sugar cookies rolled in cinnamon and sugar?” No no no no! While they share the same basic ingredients, snickerdoodles have one ingredient that is a necessity for them to become the mighty snickerdoodle… cream of tartar.
What is cream of tartar? At its most basic, it’s an acid (get it? I even do chemistry jokes, folks) It’s a by-product of wine making, too. What it does for snickerdoodles, is twofold. It gives the cookies that ‘tang’ when you eat ’em (probably a good reason they’re rolled in the cinnamon sugar beforehand), and it prevents the sugar from crystallizing and baking into the crunchy bits that make a sugar cookie so good.
When I imagine a perfectly baked snickerdoodle, I can just imagine the slightly crispy edge, while the rest of the cookie is more cake-like… soft and chewy. The simple flavor of cinnamon and sugar only complements the baked dough. I grew up with snickerdoodles. Mom used to make them (and have to triple, or even quadruple the batch) for giving to family friends. The house always smelled so amazing, and even my brother and I would be volunteered to help roll the dough… it was definitely a bonding time.
There are tons of recipes and alternative ingredients to make snickerdoodles with now. Some people choose to use butter instead of shortening, making their cookies flatter. There are versions you get at the store that are crisper than gingersnaps. Some like to change it up so that their cookies dome, so they can get more ‘cake’ in their cookies. I guess you could call me a purist when it comes to snickerdoodles… don’t mess up the recipe.
To cap things off, I’ll just leave you guys with a recipe for good, old-fashioned, snickerdoodles. If you like/love snickerdoodles, it’ll be like welcoming an old friend back after years of separation. If you’ve never had snickerdoodles, now’s the perfect time to get to baking and trying a piece of what many deem to be a cookie that makes some of the best memories. Snickerdoodles recipe over at Smitten Kitchen.
What’s your favorite cookie? Let me know in the comments.
See you tomorrow.