New-Fashioned Snickerdoodles Recipe

New-Fashioned Snickerdoodles Recipe

[Photographs: J. Kenji López-Alt]

If you think snickerdoodles are simply cinnamon sugar cookies, think again. Properly made, they have crispier edges and chewier middles, with a rich and tender crumb beneath their shimmery crusts. Once upon a time, those qualities came from cutting butter with hydrogenated shortening, but I prefer virgin coconut oil: Its subtle aroma heightens both the cinnamon and the vanilla, while keeping the snickerdoodles rich, moist, and chewy.

Why It Works

  • Blending butter with coconut oil creates a cookie that's richer and more aromatic than those that call for shortening.
  • Freshly grated cinnamon tames the astringency of powdered cinnamon, with a subtle hint of warmth.
  • A blast of high heat helps the cookies spread fast and bake quickly, crisping the edges without drying the middles.
  • Yield:Makes 2 dozen 3 1/2-inch cookies
  • Active time: 20 minutes
  • Total time:45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter (1 stick; 114g)
  • 3 ounces virgin coconut oil (heaping 1/3 cup; 85g)
  • 10 1/2 ounces sugar (1 1/2 cups; 298g)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (4g; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight)
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, straight from the fridge
  • 11 1/2 ounces low-protein all-purpose flour (2 1/2 cups; 327g), such as Gold Medal
  • For the Cinnamon Sugar:
  • 2 ounces sugar (1/4 cup; 57g)
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons (7g) ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (1g) freshly grated cinnamon

Directions

  1. 1.

    Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 400°F (200°C). Combine butter, coconut oil, sugar, salt, baking powder, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix at low speed to combine gently, then increase to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, pausing to scrape the bowl with a flexible spatula halfway through. With the mixer running, add egg and continue beating until smooth. Reduce speed to low, add flour, and mix to form a stiff dough. Divide into twenty-four 1 1/4-ounce (2-tablespoon; 30-ml) portions.

  2. 2.

    For the Cinnamon Sugar: Mix sugar with ground and grated cinnamon in a small bowl, adding more spice if you prefer. (It should taste very intense to offset the mild dough.) Roll each portion of dough into a smooth and sticky ball, then tumble in cinnamon sugar until fully coated. Arrange on a parchment-lined aluminum half sheet pan, leaving 2 1/2 inches between balls, then flatten into 2-inch disks about 1/2 inch thick. Generously cover with the remaining cinnamon sugar, creating a thick layer that will crack and crinkle in the oven.

  3. 3.

    Bake until the snickerdoodles begin to spread, about 5 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350°F (175°C). Continue baking until firm around the edges but steamy in the middle, about 6 minutes longer. Cool directly on half sheet pan until the crumb is set, about 8 minutes. Enjoy warm, or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.