This past Saturday afternoon, I made some snickerdoodles.
By Sunday morning, they were gone.
A snickerdoodle is a tart drop cookie that is rolled in cinnamon sugar and develops a lovely crackled surface during the baking process. I used to bake them all the time in college, but found that I could never produce the same results twice! You may have experienced this problem with cookies, as well. One batch comes out poufy and cake-like, another flat and chewy, and another with doughy centers and burnt edges. Frustrating, isn’t it?
After studying some basic cookie-baking techniques, however, I realized that I’ve been making some crucial cookie-baking mistakes. Here’s some tips on how you can bake consistent batches of perfect snickerdoodles, or any other cookie, every time!
5 Tips for Perfect Snickerdoodles
Tip 1: Use room temperature ingredients.
For the best texture and most consistent results, ALL ingredients need to be room temp.
Set your butter and eggs out about an hour before use.
Tip 2: Soft butter, not squishy butter.
The softness of the butter makes all the difference in the structure and texture of a cookie. Butter that is too cold will not create the desired air pockets in the batter resulting in dense, heavy cookies. Butter that is too soft will not give the batter the structure it needs.
A good test?
Lightly press your finger into a stick of butter. If your finger makes a nice impression, it’s ready. If the butter completely gives way when you press it, chill for 10 minutes and test again. If the butter is too hard to press, heat in the microwave for 5-7 seconds and test.
Tip 3: Spoon your flour.
Spooning the flour into your measuring cup and then leveling off the excess is the most accurate way to measure flour. Scooping your measuring cup into the flour compacts the flour which means you are most likely adding more flour to the recipe than you should.
Tip 4: Fully cream the butter and sugar.
This is NOT properly creamed butter and sugar:
This IS properly creamed butter and sugar:
It is best to cream by hand since electric mixers tend to over-cream the fat and sugar. If you prefer using a mixer, however, give the butter and sugar a few turns with spoon first.
If possible, beat the eggs in by hand.
Tip 5: Apply cooking spray to your palms.
Have your palms ever gotten ridiculously sticky after rolling dough balls?
A spritz of cooking spray on the palms will quickly solve that problem:
It’s a relief to know that the perfect snickerdoodles are within reach with the help of a few little tips.
Now go forth and bake like a boss!
What are some of your go-to cookie tips?
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- Cinnamon sugar: 1/4 cup granulated sugar + 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar. (Check for lumps of baking soda and cream of tartar!)
- In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar until mixture is pale yellow (about 2 minutes). Beat in eggs until fluffy.
- Mix half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture and stir until just combined. Add the rest of the flour and stir until well combined.
- Roll into 1-2″ balls, roll in cinnamon sugar and place 3″ apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bale for 15-18 minutes until golden. Allow cookies to cool on sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack.