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 has a brighter, fresher aroma than commercially ground cinnamon, creating more depth of flavor.
- A blast of high heat helps the cookies spread fast and bake quickly, crisping the edges without drying the middles.
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 virgin coconut oil does a better job. Its subtle aroma heightens both the cinnamon and the vanilla, while helping the snickerdoodles stay rich, moist, and chewy.
- 4 ounces unsalted butter (1 stick; 114g), firm but pliable, about 60°F (16°C)
- 3 ounces virgin coconut oil (heaping 1/3 cup; 85g)
- 10 1/2 ounces sugar (about 1 1/2 cups; 298g)
- 1 1/4 teaspoon (6g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight)
- 1 teaspoon (4g) baking powder
- 1/2 ounce vanilla extract (about 1 tablespoon; 15g)
- 1 large egg, straight from the fridge (about 1 3/4 ounces; 50g)
- 10 1/2 ounces low-protein all-purpose flour, such as Gold Medal (about 2 1/3 cups, spooned; 295g)
- For the Cinnamon Sugar:
- 2 ounces sugar (1/4 cup; 57g)
- 2 3/4 teaspoons (5g) ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (1.25g) freshly grated cinnamon
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, then increase to medium and beat until soft, fluffy, and pale, about 5 minutes, although the exact timing will vary. Halfway through, pausing to scrape the bowl and beater with a flexible spatula, and then resume mixing on medium speed. Add the egg and continue beating until smooth. Reduce speed to low, add flour, and mix to form a stiff dough.
Using a cookie scoop, divide dough into 2-tablespoon portions. If you like, these can be transferred to a zipper-lock bag and refrigerated for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 3 months; soften to about 68°F (20°C) before baking.
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.
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.
Stand mixer, flexible flexible spatula, 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, Microplane, half sheet pans
This recipe works best with cassia cinnamon sticks, which are easy to grate and boost the classic flavor of cinnamon in snickerdoodles. Grate on a spice grater or zester, such as a Microplane, working from the tip of the cinnamon stick, rather than its side.
Make-Ahead and Storage
To make ahead, divide portioned dough between heavy-duty zipper-lock bags and refrigerate up to 1 week (or freeze for up to 3 months). Soften the dough at room temperature until roughly 70°F, then roll, coat, flatten, and bake as directed.