For the topping


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6, and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Beat the butter and both sugars in a large bowl using an electric whisk for 2 mins until smooth and fluffy.

  • STEP 2

    Add the vanilla and beat until combined, scraping down the sides once. Add the flour, cream of tartar, bicarbonate of soda and ¼ tsp salt, and mix until just combined. Stir in the milk to loosen the mixture.

  • STEP 3

    For the topping, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Roll 40g of the dough into a ball. Roll the dough ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, then place it on the prepared tray and press it down lightly. Repeat with the remaining dough and topping, spacing the balls about 5cm apart.

  • STEP 4

    Bake for 10-12 mins until golden and puffed up. Leave to cool on the tray for 5 mins, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Will keep in an airtight tin for up to four days.

Why are these called ‘snickerdoodles’?

Snickerdoodles are popular cookies in the US. The name is thought to be a corruption of the German word ‘schneckennudel’, which is a kind of sweet bun. But, it could also simply be a nonsense word. Snickerdoodles are typically made with flour, butter, sugar, cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda, then balls of the dough are rolled in cinnamon sugar before baking.

Should I chill the dough before baking?

You don’t have to chill the dough before baking, as you want these cookies to spread out slightly. The dough is firm enough to roll into balls without being chilled first.

What does cream of tartar do in snickerdoodles?

Cream of tartar adds a distinct tangy flavour and ensures a chewy texture due to its leavening power. The results won’t be the same if you substitute it for something like lemon juice.

Can I make these in advance?

You can bake and store snickerdoodles in an airtight container for up to four days, but we wouldn’t advise freezing them or leaving them raw, because the raising agents (bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar) are essential to the texture and look snickerdoodles (these create the cracks in the surface). Over time, the raising agents will lose their effectiveness in the raw dough.

How long will these last?

These cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to four days.

What if my dough is too crumbly?

Try adding milk, 1 tbsp at a time, until the mixture comes together

Top tips for making snickerdoodles:

  • Don’t skip beating the butter and sugar together thoroughly, as this ensures the cookie dough will have a smooth texture
  • Making sure the dough balls are all about 40g for uniform cookies
  • Leave the cookies to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack so they have a chance to firm up. This prevents them breaking apart as you move them
  • If the cookies have puffed up significantly, tap the tray against a work surface sharply to deflate them

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