Pass Or Fail? First Time Baking Classic Snickerdoodle Cookies
Did I nail my all-time favorite cookie recipe or did I completely disrespect this classic delectable & all things good about it?
March 28, 2020 - By Alex Eady
In a sea of classic cookies, the snickerdoodle cookie has secured a spot in my heart as my all-time favorite. For me, this standout cookie outdoes the all the others with its simple style and flavorful taste. Some of my favorite versions of the cookie come from places like Insomnia Cookies and Blondies, but I wanted to see how a batch from my own kitchen would compare.
In all my years of trying different snickerdoodle cookies, I've become pretty picky about the taste and texture I prefer. With these, I was aiming for the large yet thin cookies, soft on the inside with chewy outside edges. Too much or too little of any ingredient (flour, sugar, baking soda, etc.) can completely change the texture of a cookie. So I stuck to the script and did exactly as the recipe instructed.
As far as the taste, I've always appreciated snickerdoodles for their perfect blend of sweet and buttery flavor. And, of course, these classic cookies are dusted in the perfect balance of cinnamon and sugar. Setting these cookies apart from normal sugar cookies rolled in cinnamon sugar is the secret ingredient: cream of tartar. With no clue what the ingredient is or really does, I compared recipe after recipe to see if it's really necessary. But in my research, I found that cream of tartar gives snickerdoodles their signature tanginess. (your fav sugar cookie could never) Despite this, I already had all the ingredients I needed to make the cookies and didn't feel like searching the store for the lone ingredient I probably would never use again. After much consideration, I decided not to to omit the oddly pricy powder ingredient, ($4.69 for a 1.5 oz. jar at the local Harris Teeter) and go for the most authentic cookie possible.
Though these cookies are aesthetically simple, they proved to be slightly more difficult to make than I anticipated. I found myself disorganized when sorting through my ingredients and rushed to get to the finished product. When forming my dough, I was fortunate to have a hand mixer which was extremely helpful in cutting down on time. Including the 30 minutes I allotted for the the cookies to chill in the fridge, these snickerdoodles took me about an hour to prep. All in all, I would rate these a 6 out of 10 for difficulty.
I'll be honest - as I always am on this blog - my homemade snickerdoodles were lacking in the two departments that matter most: taste & texture.
In tasting the cookies after cooling, my immediate reaction was: "too sugary". I had no clue this could even be possible for my favorite cookie, especially since I followed the recipe closely. I may have needed to ease up on the cinnamon sugar topping or simply reevaluate my tastebuds, still not sure which one.
The texture of the cookies was the biggest head-scratcher. The majority of the cookies came out smaller than I expected, thick and perfectly smooth with dense, puffy centers. If you scroll back up to paragraph one, you'll see that was NOT the cookie I was going for. I switched up my strategy, and started smashing the cookies down before baking, resulting in the last few looking slightly closer to what I was aiming for, but still not exactly it. Despite the look, the cookies still maintained their softness, but were slightly fluffier than chewy.
Though disappointed I couldn't master my favorite cookie, I wasn't expecting perfection on my first try. By no means were the cookies butchered, but I've got a long way to go if I want to reach the Insomnia Cookie level of Snickerdoodle perfection that I aspire to. Lesson learned: amazing things take time and the snickerdoodle will always remain as my delicious and very important reminder of that.
Check out the original recipe: