I never thought I’d pick a snickerdoodle over a chocolate chip cookie, but a few years ago Todd brought home some snickerdoodles which gave chocolate chip a run for the money. And of course they beat the pants off plain sugar cookies! They weren’t fancy in terms of appearance, but they were so soft and had a really good balance of vanilla, cinnamon and butter flavor. Ever since then I’ve been trying to find a snickerdoodle just as satisfying, and I think this recipe is it.
Shortening seems to be a traditional snickerdoodle ingredient, and Crisco is the source of this recipe. I’ve mentioned I don’t care for the artificial butter flavoring in butter flavored Crisco, but for some reason it goes really well with the other ingredients in this cookie. Plus you only use half shortening. The other half is real butter.
As you might guess by the name Brown Sugar Snickerdoodles, these Snickerdoodles have a higher proportion of brown sugar than white. But don’t worry — they still taste like the traditional version (only better) and the molasses flavor isn’t overwhelming.
To give the cookies a softer texture, the recipe calls for White Lily, a flour made with soft winter wheat which I have to drive all over town for or special order. Totally worth it, though! White Lily weighs about 4 oz per cup so it’s similar to cake flour, and you *might* be able to get away with using cake flour or weighing out 14 oz of cake flour mixed with all-purpose to compensate. Update: If you live in North Carolina this shouldn’t be a problem. White Lily is everywhere!
And finally, snickerdoodles are the best cookies for showing off good cinnamon, so if you’re looking for an excuse to buy or mail order some good quality cinnamon, now you have one. But rest assured, these will be good with any cinnamon.
Brown Sugar Snickerdoodles
- 1 stick 114 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup 96 grams butter flavored Crisco
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups 14 oz or 392 grams White Lily (not self-rising) or 392 grams regular AP**
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar or us 2 tsp. baking powder and omit soda
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt or 1/2 teaspoon if using salted butter
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats or line with foil and grease foil.
- Beat butter, shortening, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed, until well blended.
- Combine the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt in a medium bowl and stir really well to mix and remove any lumps of White Lily. Mix flour mixture into shortening mixture at low speed until combined.
- At this point you may want to chill your dough for slightly easier handling.
- Scoop up rounded tablespoons of dough and shape into about 36 balls or about 60 smaller size balls.
- Mix together the topping (1/4 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon) in a small bowl. Roll balls in sugar cinnamon mixture. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
- Bake 6 to 7 minutes, or until cookies are puffed and crackled on top and the edges are set. The centers will be soft. Allow to cool 1 minute on baking sheet. Remove to cooling rack and let cool completely. Be careful not to overbake!