My mom’s classic snickerdoodle recipe. These cookies are sweet with just a hint of cinnamon. Make yours soft and chewy, or make them crunchy crisp, the choice is up to you. While they may not be fancy, they are loaded with so many happy Christmas memories. From my family to yours, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season filled with joy and snickerdoodle cookies.
At Christmas time, every family brings out their own, time-honored traditions. For some it’s the decades old Christmas tree ornaments and heirloom nativity scenes, for others it’s the classic carols and Christmas movies. For me, it’s always been making Christmas cookies with my mom, especially when we are talking about snickerdoodles.
While the snickerdoodle dates back to the 17th century, no one really knows who made it first. It’s a fairly simple, but delicious recipe. Best part is, it’s not fancy and doesn’t require hours of decorating.
The recipe says to let it chill 4 – 6 hours, but growing up my mom knew better. If she let this dough sit in the fridge that long, half of it would have been eaten. I mean, who’s to tell me not to eat raw dough if I’m pairing the finished cookies with a glass of homemade eggnog?!
Making Snickerdoodle Cookies
This snickerdoodle recipe is a great starter recipe for getting kids into the kitchen! The dough mixes up in minutes, can be refrigerated until after nap time, and lets the kids get their hands messy when rolling out the cookies! When we were little, my sister and I remember being so excited to get to roll the dough in the cinnamon sugar after our mom had shaped them into cookie balls.
While it’s completely possible to make cookie dough by hand, I would highly recommend using a stand mixer if you have one. It makes the process faster and it’s easier on you, meaning you can make even more cookies.
How To Cream Butter and Sugar
Like most cookie recipes, this one calls for creaming together butter and sugar. This step is key to getting the dough to the right consistency and is best done with room temperature butter. To do it properly, whip the butter and sugar together until it’s light and fluffy. If you have ever done it by hand, you know why I recommend using a mixer.
Put the sugar and room temperature butter in the bowl of the mixer, using beaters or the paddle attachment run the mixer on low for 3 – 5 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when it lightens in color and turns into a fluffy mixture the texture of whipped frosting. For more info on the science behind it check out this video by Serious Eats.
Room Temperature Butter
I try to set my butter out the night before making cookies. Sometimes though, a craving will strike and I don’t have hours to wait for butter to soften. If you forgot to set out your butter in advance, it’s okay, there are a few things you can do to speed up the process.
If you are working in a warm kitchen, try chopping your butter in large chunks – about 16 chunks for a standard stick of butter. The smaller size gives more surface area to allow the warmth of the kitchen to do its job. I find that by the time I’ve preheated the oven, prepared my pans, gathered the rest of my ingredients and measuring cups, the butter is soft enough for the mixer to do its job.
If your kitchen is cold, you are working with frozen butter, or if you are going to be creaming the butter and sugar by hand, you need to aim for much smaller chunks. The fastest way to achieve this is to run the butter through the large side of a grater. The tiny flakes left behind by the grater will warm up and soften in no time.
One thing not to do is put the butter in the microwave. Hot or even warm butter will start to melt the sugar. Melted sugar will not aerate properly and you won’t get the fluffy, cake-like cookies we want.
Tips for Excellent Snickerdoodle Cookies
The original recipe says to refrigerate for 4 – 6 hours. I aim for a minimum of 60 minutes, which is long enough for the dough to solidify enough to be handled without sticking to your hands.
If the dough is sticking too much, pop it back in the fridge for about 15 minutes. It also helps to put the dough in the fridge while waiting for a batch to bake.
Your dough may have refrigerated too long. If this is the case, or if you intentionally let it sit in the fridge overnight, let it sit out for 15 minutes or so and warm up. This should soften the dough to a more manageable texture.
Absolutely! I recommend shaping the cookies into balls and freezing them on a cookie sheet for 4 hours before storing in an airtight container. You can grab as many cookies as you need and let them sit at room temperature while you preheat the oven.
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Ann’s Snickerdoodle Recipe
Snickerdoodle cookies are sweet with just a hint of cinnamon. A classic Christmas cookie that my family every year around the holidays. Bake yours a little longer for crispy crunch cookies, or bake them a little less for soft chewy cookies. The choice is up to you.
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- 1 cup butter - softened
- 1 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 TBSP white sugar
- 1 TBSP cinnamon
- Using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer, whip the softened butter and sugar together 5 minutes on medium low. The mixture will lighten in color and it should expand in size.
- With the mixer running on low, add the eggs until incorporated.
- In a medium mixing bowl, measure out the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Whisk well to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture in two to three batches.
- Wrap with plastic wrap or place in a container with airtight lid and refrigerate the dough a minimum of 60 minutes, or up to two days.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. (*If baking from frozen, start here.)
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
- Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a medium bowl.
- Roll the cookies into 1 1/2" balls.
- Roll the cookies in the cinnamon sugar mixture, then place on the baking sheet 2 inches apart.
- Bake 8 - 10 minutes. Shorter baking time makes a softer cookie, longer baking time will make a crunchier cookie.
*If you don't want to bake all the cookies at once, freeze the dough and bake it later. To make it easier to bake cookies one at a time later, roll them into balls and freeze overnight on a baking sheet. Once frozen, place in a zip top bag and bake as needed.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 177Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 144mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix and is for general information purposes only. For the most accurate information, calculate using your select brands and exact measurements.