I hadn't had snickerdoodles for--oh, 15 years or so. and then someone in my church gave us a few. And all the sudden... I. Had. To. Make. Snickerdoodles. I don't know what it is about them. They're a fairly simple cookie, and there isn't a chocolatey chip to speak of within. Still there's something so satisfying about biting through that crispy sugar edge into a nice chewy cookie.
I decided to do a little recipe testing and planned to take advantage of the innocent participants of our Friday night singing group to use as tasters. I made 2 different (surprisingly different) recipes--one from Smitten Kitchen and one from Simply Recipes. I had planned to force everyone to try the different kinds and tell me which they liked best, but when the cookies came out of the oven, they were startlingly similar. Not identical, no, but much more like each other than I thought they would be. And then, as I was finishing up the dough for the last batch, I saw a lemon in my fridge.
In a rush of (purely humble, I assure you) creative genius, I created the best cookie of them all. No offense, cinnamon, but--wow--those lemon ones were good. The lemon sugar gets all crystally and perfect on the outside and...maybe it's my own humility tainting my memory of Friday night, but I'm pretty sure the singing group liked the lemon ones best too.
cookie recipe from Smitten Kitchen (which, by the way, was my favorite of the 2 I tried, but only by a smidgeon. However, if you don't have cream of tartar on hand, the Simply Recipes recipe doesn't use it, so it's a nice one to have in your box as well.)
Makes 30 cookies
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes (and not a minute more, people)
Cost: $2.20 or about $.14/cookie
flour: .30, butter: 1.00, sugar: .35, lemon: .35, eggs: .20
2 3/4 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 C (2 sticks) butter, very soft
1 1/2 C sugar
1-2 tsp lemon juice
zest from 1 large lemon or 2 small ones
2/3 C sugar
Beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat until creamy. Add eggs and beat until smooth. Add lemon juice, beat. Add salt and beat.
Combine remaining dry ingredients. Add dry to wet about 1 C at a time, stirring in between until incorporated mixed.
Roll dough (refrigerate if necessary, but I didn't need to; of course I'm not afraid of a messy hand, nope, not even a little) into 1-inch balls.
Combine lemon zest and sugar. Rub together until fragrant.
Roll balls into lemon/sugar mixture. If necessary, pat the sugar/zest onto the ball so it adheres.
Put balls onto lightly greased cookie sheet. (You don't need to press them flat; they'll flatten on their own.)
Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. I did one minute more and regretted it just a tinge.