What's a snickerdoodle?
"A snickerdoodle is a type of Sugar Cookie made with cream of tartar and rolled in cinnamon sugar. It is characterized by a cracked surface and can be crisp or soft depending on preference. In modern recipes, the leavening agent is usually baking powder."
"Some people mistakenly refer to snickerdoodles as "sugar cookies". The difference between the two comes from the use of cinnamon, which is balanced with cream of tartar to give the cookies their sweet, spicy flavor."
"It is common for the tops of Snickerdoodles to be decorated by pressing the prongs of a fork on top of the cookie in a criss-cross manner so that there is an imprint of opposing lines."
"The Joy of Cooking claims that snickerdoodles are probably German in origin, and that the name is a corruption of the German word Schneckennudeln, which means "snail dumpling." A different author suggests that the word "snicker" comes from the Dutch word snekrad, or the German word Schnecke, which both describe a snail-like shape. Yet another theory suggests that the name comes from a New England tradition of fanciful, whimsical cookie names. There is also a series of tall tales about a hero named "Snickerdoodle" from the early 1900s which may be related to the name of the cookie."
"The Joy of Cooking claims that snickerdoodles are probably German in origin, and that the name is a corruption of the German word for "slug noodles" (schneckennudeln).
From the Boston Globe, June 14, 1898, pg. 8:
Three quarters of a cup of butter, 2 cups of sugar, 1 cup of milk, 3 cups of flour, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar, 1 teaspoon of soda. Mix; drop on a tin in spoonfuls, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, and bake in quick oven.
M. Elizabeth Adams.
From the Idaho Daily Statesman (Boise, Idaho), October 20, 1901, pg. 11:
"Snickerdoodles" is the somewhat fantastic name of quickly made little cakes especially dear to the children's heart. A recipe for them copied from an old scrapbook says: "Stir together two cups of sugar and half a cup of butter. When creamy, add two well-beaten eggs, then one cup of milk, with a teaspoonful of soda, dissolved in it; and, lastly, add two and a half cups of flour, with two teaspoonfuls of cream of tartar and half a spoonful of salt. Beat the batter thoroughly, and bake in shallow pans, dusting the top of the cake before baking with cinnamon and sugar. Bake fifteen minutes, and when cool cut in squares. This receipt will make two panfuls, which will cut into twenty-four squares."
One recipe for the production of snickerdoodle
cookies is as follows:
2 3/4 cups (650ml) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups (360ml) white sugar
1 cup (240ml) soft shortening
2 eggs, beaten
"Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius), mix ingredients, and bake for 10 minutes or until crisp and light brown. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon while hot.
"An alternative recipe uses only 1 cup (240ml) sugar and replaces 1/2 cup (120ml) of the shortening with butter. After those ingredients are mixed, the dough is rolled into 1 tablespoon balls and then rolled in a mixture of 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. They are baked as noted above. Other recipes add honey to the dough, which helps to keep the cookies from becoming too crisp."