Recipe Review: Flour Bakery’s Snickerdoodles

I love sugar cookies. All kinds of sugar cookies. If asked to choose a favorite, I’d flip-flop more times than a Washington politician. (Having worked in Washington D.C. and in Ohio politics, I know a lot about flip-flopping). But if you asked my 3rd grade self about cookies, she would tell you unequivocally that Snickerdoodles were the ONLY cookies. You see, I was the kid that picked all of the chocolate chips out of the Tollhouse cookies, preferring the brown sugar dough to chocolate. I’d turn down brownies. I didn’t even like Oreos. I only had eyes for soft, sugary, cinnamony Snickerdoodles. Enter pastry genius Joanne Chang and her wonderful new cookbook.

Flour Cookbook, in a place of honor in my office.

This recipe from Flour Bakery is a good one, if a little simple.  Snickerdoodles are simple cookies, so I wondered how Joanne Chang would improve a tried and true cookie.  The key to these cookies is the 24 hour rest period. This is a must.  I baked the cookies after a 10 hour rest and after a full day- more like 26 hours of resting- and the cookies with the most rest won. The butter flavor was more pronounced. Completely cool, the rested cookies were chewy around the edges and soft in the middle. They did not turn into rocks the next day.  My suggestion, divide the batch in half. Stick both dough disks in the fridge, one for now(or tomorrow), one for later.

The finished Snickerdoodles

The only alteration that I would suggest is upping the salt, just a touch. Joanne calls for 1/4 teaspoon of Kosher Salt. I obeyed this time, but next time I will use 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Snickerdoodles

Adapted From Flour: Spectacular recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery & Cafe

When I bake, I prefer to use weight measurements instead of volume. I’ve listed both for your convenience.

1 Cup (228 grams) of Unsalted Butter, room temp

1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup (100 grams) for coating

2 eggs, room temp

2 1/2 cups (350 grams) unbleached All-Purpose Flour (I recommend King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill)

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (I would up this to 1/2 teaspoon)

1/4 cup (60 grams) ground cinnamon for coating

(1) Fit your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed. Beat for 4-5 minutes, occasionally scraping down the side of the bowl. When the  mixture is very fluffy, slowly add the eggs. Beat in the eggs for 2-3 minutes or until combined.

(2) Sift together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and kosher salt. On low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture a little at a time. Beat until the flour and butter are incorporated and the dough starts to come together. It will not form a ball- the dough is very soft and will stick to the sides of the bowl and paddle.

(3) Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for a bare minimum of 4 hours. For best results, let rest 24 hours.

(4) When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350.  Mix together the remaining sugar and cinnamon.  Using  a cookie dough scoop,  drop tablespoon sized balls into the cinnamon sugar and roll them to ensure even coating. Place on cookie sheet (I used a silpat, too) and smoosh with the palm of your hand.

(5) Bake for 14-16 minutes (Joanne recommends 15 minutes, but I pulled mine around 13 minutes). The cookies should be slightly brown on the edges but still soft in the center. Let cool for about 10 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. (I skipped the wire rack- cookies went straight into my mouth!)

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