I first realized the Snickerdoodle was an all-time favorite of small children when my daughter’s preschool put together a holiday recipe book and 1 out of 3 recipes was the basic Snickerdoodle. It’s not surprising, though. The ingredients are simple, kids love rolling the balls of dough in cinnamon sugar, and it’s always exciting to help an adult cook something in the kitchen when the reward is such a tasty payoff. Similar to a simple sugar cookie, only slightly less sugary, these cinnamon spiced cookies are a perfect accompaniment to a rich hot chocolate or cafe mocha during the cold winter months.
This recipe amps up the flavor, elevating it to a dessert in which one cookie sandwich is almost too much – though you will soon be addicted! It calls for two cookies, sandwiched together with a scandalously sweet, creamy brown sugar and cinnamon frosting. These are perfect for serving at a holiday gathering, or boxing 2 or 3 to give to friends or colleagues. For Christmas, try dividing the dough and using food coloring to create two separate batches of green and red sandwiches – just a few of these can really add some interest to your holiday cookie platter. Likewise, for Valentine’s Day, try rolling the dough in a cinnamon and red dusting sugar before baking, and then add some red food coloring to only the frosting – they’ll look as sweet as they taste, and are perfect for gifting.
- 1 Cup salted butter
- 1 ½ Cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 ¾ all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
In a separate bowl, reserved for rolling dough in prior to baking cookies:
- 2 Tablespoons additional granulated sugar, or colored dusting sugar/sprinkles
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ Cup salted or unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ¼ Cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4-5 Cups powdered sugar
- ¼ Cup (or more) half and half
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. In a mixing bowl, begin the cookie batter: Cream first two ingredients (butter and sugar). Separate eggs from their shells in a small bowl, then add eggs to the bowl with the creamed butter slowly, until well incorporated into a mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients and again, slowly add this mixture into the batter. Shape the dough into 1-1.5” consistently-sized balls (the bigger the cookie, the easier time you’ll have spreading the frosting later, especially if you have little helpers… the smaller the cookies, the more round and “macaron-like” the sandwiches will look in the end.) Roll each ball of dough in a small bowl containing the last two ingredients (sugar and cinnamon), and place 1.5-2” apart on a cookie sheet with a parchment paper lining. Bake 8-10 minutes until slightly golden. Allow baked cookies to sit on the sheet for a couple minutes after removal from the oven, before attempting to remove them with a spatula Place cookies on drying rack to cool, and wash out your mixing bowl when finished.
In the same mixer, cream the ingredients for the sandwich frosting. Mix the butter and brown sugar together first, then add cinnamon, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. Add half and half bit by bit, until the frosting is a strong enough paste consistency to hold two cookies together, but liquid enough to just push out the sides a little. When cookies have fully cooled, spread about a tablespoon of frosting (depending on the size of your cookies) on the underneath of one cookie, then attach this side to the bottom side of another cookie. You can add a little more powdered sugar to the frosting if you’re having trouble sticking the two cookies together, or you can also try refrigerating the sandwiches once assembled. The frosting will bond the cookies together as it all solidifies overnight, but refrigeration will help speed that process if you’re serving the sandwiches within hours. These are just as tasty at room temperature as they are cooled; and, when slightly refrigerated, they’ll be a little less gooey in the small hands of your helpers!