Whether you like your snickerdoodle cookies cakey or chewy, this recipe has you covered. The secret to changing up their texture lies in how long you beat the cookie batter. For classic snickerdoodles with a cakey bite, beat for a full 3 minutes after adding the eggs (set a timer: it’s longer than you think). This aerates the dough, leading to a striking crackly surface. For chewy snickerdoodle cookies, beat for just 30 seconds; their centers will be slightly more dense, preferable to some, and equally lovable in our books.
Either way, our snickerdoodle cookie recipe minimizes prep time by calling for melted butter (i.e., no waiting around for softened). Cream of tartar gives them their signature tangy flavor. As for the other ingredients, there aren’t many, so choose wisely: Seek out a warm, potent cinnamon (we like this one from Burlap & Barrel) and a plump, shiny vanilla bean (if you can’t find one, substitute 1 tsp. ground vanilla or 1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste or high-quality vanilla extract).
No need to refrigerate the dough: Just let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes to firm up before scooping. Roll the cookie dough balls in cinnamon-sugar and give the buttery beauties plenty of room on your cookie sheet since they’ll spread quite a bit. These blonde cookies shouldn’t take on much color; don’t be tempted to leave them in the oven, lest you wind up with crispy cookies, which is not the vibe here. If you have extras—we doubt you’ll have extras—store them in an airtight container or pack them in holiday cookie tins. ’Tis the season for sharing.
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Makes about 32
cups all-purpose flour
tsp. cream of tartar
tsp. baking soda
tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt
cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
cup (packed; 100 g) light brown sugar
cup (200 g) plus 2 Tbsp. (25 g) granulated sugar, divided
vanilla bean, split lengthwise
large eggs, room temperature
Tbsp. ground cinnamon
Whisk flour, 2½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, and ¾ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium speed (a stand mixer with paddle attachment or hand mixer are both fine), beat 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly, ½ cup (packed; 100 g) light brown sugar, and 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar in a large bowl, scraping down sides, until incorporated. Scrape in seeds from 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise; reserve pod for another use.Step 2
Add 2 large eggs, room temperature, and continue to beat until mixture is pale yellow, begins to thicken, and falls from beaters in a ribbon-like stream, about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and continue to beat, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl, until just combined. Let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes to fully hydrate dry ingredients; dough will be very loose but will thicken as it sits.Step 3
Arrange a rack in center of oven; preheat to 400°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon and remaining 2 Tbsp. (25 g) granulated sugar in a small bowl.Step 4
Using a 1-oz. ice cream scoop or a generous, heaping tablespoonful, portion cookies and roll into 1½" balls. Toss in cinnamon-sugar mixture until well coated. Transfer to prepared sheet, spacing about 3" apart. Do not flatten; cookies will spread as they bake.Step 5
Bake cookies until edges are lightly browned and firm but centers are puffed and soft, 8–10 minutes. Let cool on sheets 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.