Here’s one last sweet quarantine treat we want to share with you: snickerdoodle cookies. If you’re looking at that name and scratching your head, don’t worry – these cookies are popular in the United States, particularly in the Midwest where they were invented, but aren’t really seen in other parts of the world. And if you’re wondering why they’re called that, culinary historians are mystified as well because no one is sure if “snickerdoodle” is a corruption of a German word or just some nonsense that appeared during the 19th century when it was apparently popular to invent funny nicknames for cookies. In any case, snickerdoodles are an enduring favorite because they combine a sweet, buttery cookie with the classic cinnamon-sugar combo. They’re pretty easy to make as well, and don’t require any special ingredients, so these are a great snack to make while you’re stuck at home right now.
To get started on your dough, let your butter soften and then place it in a bowl with your eggs, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, and 1/2 cup of shortening in a mixing bowl and stir together vigorously.
Then add in 2 3/4 cup of flour, 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar, a teaspoon of baking soda, and a pinch of salt and mix, using your hands if necessary, until you have an even dough.
Divide your dough into 24 pieces and roll each piece between the palms of your hand into a ball. Place these on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper, with 12 to each sheet.
Stir together another 1/4 cup of sugar with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon in a small bowl, then one by one roll the dough balls in this mixture so that each is fully coated all around.
Place the dough balls back on the baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart, and bake at 400°F for 10 minutes, until each one is cracked on top and firm around the sides but not burned on the bottom.
That’s it – just a few steps and some simple ingredients and you can create your own rich, delicious cookies. Ours came out crunchy around the edges and chewy in the middle, which made for a sweet, multi-textured cookie that almost melts in your mouth. These aren’t a fancy dessert, sure, but they’re a classic that has remained in the American cooking tradition for well over a century because they combine flavors that everyone loves. For a quick, tasty treat you can whip up quickly without having to track down a bunch of different ingredients, these really are great for right now.