Snickerdoodles contain cream of tartar, an item I never used in anything else. A little digging on the Internet revealed that cream of tartar was first discovered as a by-product of wine making. Crystals of cream of tartar (aka potassium bitartrate) form on the underside of a cork in a wine bottle kept chilled in wine cellars. How anyone thought of trying this in baking is beyond me. However it happened, the result is a cookie with a unique flavor. If you’ve never tried them, here’s the recipe I use. They’re perfect for munching on in crisp fall weather. Add a cup of hot chocolate or cider and you have a real treat.
Here’s the classic All-American cookie made with the distinctive cream of tartar flavor. At the bottom I have provided some tempting flavor variations.
Snickerdoodles – the Original and Five Variations
1/2 cup of butter, softened
1/2 cup of shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well and add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Mix until evenly blended.
- In a small bowl, combine remaining 2 teaspoons sugar and cinnamon.
- Shape rounded tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. Roll dough balls in sugar and cinnamon mixture and place 2″ apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
- Bake in oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are set, being careful not to overbake.
- Remove from oven and place immediately onto wire racks to cool. Makes 4 dozen.
- Peanut Butter Snickerdoodles – Substitute ½ cup of smooth peanut butter for the shortening.
- Coconut Snickerdoodles – Add 1 cup of shredded, sweetened coconut to the dough.
- Oatmeal Snickerdoodles – Reduce flour to 2 cups and add ¾ cups quick oats.
- Peppermint Snickerdoodles – Finely crush two medium sized candy canes and add to dough.
- Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles – Add to the dough ½ cup unsweetened cocoa and ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper. Reduce flour to 2 ¼ cup.