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the gifts of the season

If I could bake cookies every day in December, I totally would do. Live in elastic sweat pants, flour permanently in hair, butter schmears all over my face… It sounds like a good time to me.

Sadly, I have neither the time nor money to do that. But for many, December ushers in the baking season. The baking aisles in the grocery stores are suddenly packed, with moms stocking up on flour and sugar, and kids smiling broadly as they know pretty soon their tummys will be filled with sugar. 

As a kid, I didn’t do the holiday baking. If you met my mother, you’d understand. She practically shuns the mere thought of baking. She only turns on the oven to warm the kitchen, or toss in a roast. If it wasn’t for me, I bet our utility bill would be considerably less. It wasn’t until I got in to middle school did I fully appreciate the idea of holiday baking. 

All the hustle and bustle in the kitchen radiates love and comfort. Laughing over messes, slyly nibbling on raw cookie dough, waiting for the oven timer to go off. These are all traditions that are based on one big thing: community. Holiday baking brings people together, old and young. I hate that I missed out on it when I was younger, but that means that I get to make up for lost time, right? Hence my mad baking spree last year.

I literally lost my mind last Christmas and baked everything from chocolate biscotti, pound cakes, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, one-bowl white chocolate and pecan cookies, peppermint bark cookies, honey nut scones, sugar-topped molasses cookies, etc. The majority of my baking revolved around cookie because they are quick, easy to transport, and not intimidating. Bring someone a cake and they get that look of shear panic in their eyes. Like, what am I supposed to do with that?! But bring someone a cookie, and you’ve become their best friend. 

Snickerdoodles happen to be one of my favorite cookies. Butter cookies rolled in cinnamon sugar and baked till slightly flattened yet soft. I almost baked the snickerdoodles from Baking Illustrated but I saw shortening on the ingredient list and passed it on. Under no circumstances will shortening enter my kitchen. Like I said with my pumpkin pie post, I detest shortening despite it’s favorable baking traits. 

I made these cookies in between studying sessions and even under my fatigue and stress, they came out flawless. I nabbed the recipe from Land O’Lakes, which happens to have a great a baking section in case you are wondering. I am not brand loyal when it comes to butter, but Land O’Lakes has a great flavor so when it’s on sale, I try to buy from them. When I read the recipe, the cookies seemed almost TOO easy. No chill time? Really? Yup, they are just that quick. 

 The recipe said that it yields 5 dozen cookies but I got more like 40 cookies. I must’ve made them a bit bigger but that’s how I like them. They puff up a little in the oven, but they flatten out upon cooling. If you prefer softer, cakey cookies, chill the dough in the fridge for 10 minutes and that should help stop the flattening. If you are planning on baking some cookies to send to loved ones or to devour yourself, I encourage you to try this recipe it out. I had to tweak it a little as the recipe states to just toss all the ingredients together, but us cookie geniuses know better. I mixed the wet ingredients first, then added in the dry portion. I added in my edits to the original recipe, but feel free to do it whatever way you want.

For the most part, these cookies are idiot-proof (as I made them myself) and even though they take some time to prepare, they bake up in a flash. My coworkers and friends welcomed these cookies and I’m planning on sending them out, all nicely wrapped to all my loved ones. 

Origin: Land O’Lakes, Inc
Yield: 5 dozen cookies (I got 40 cookies)
Prep Time: 45 min
Cooking Time: 8 min

● 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
● 1 1/2 cups sugar
● 1 cup LAND O LAKES® Butter, softened
● 2 eggs
● 2 tsp. cream of tartar
● 1 tsp. baking soda
● 1 tsp. vanilla
● 1/4 tsp. salt
● 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
● 3 tbsp sugar

Heat oven to 400°F. Combine all cookie ingredients in large bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. My edits: I mixed the butter and sugar together first, then added in the eggs and extract. In a separate bowl, I mixed the flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar together, and then added in the dry mixture to the wet one, stirring until it was just mixed in).

Stir together 3 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon in small bowl.

Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.


My coworker loved them :)

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December 7, 2008 - 9:17 am

Molly - Cookies do make a great holiday gift! Not only is it satisfying to bake them, it’s a gift that everyone loves….

December 7, 2008 - 10:30 am

snookydoodle - WOW these cookies look great. I love snickerdoodles :) Ha you would be a great baking mate. Since I love to bake alot and I wish I had a baking buddy ha . I ll try these yummy cookies.

December 7, 2008 - 10:45 am

Robin - Oh my, they are so full and soft-looking! You may kill me, Amanda, but I’ve never had a Snickerdoodle!! I’ll have to have my first one using this recipe. :)

December 7, 2008 - 12:32 pm

megan - wow, my jaw dropped as i read the list of goodies you whipped up last year. Sure wish I could have been a taste tester in your kitchen then! These look yummy, I’ve actually never made these before, but I sure may try :)

December 7, 2008 - 12:41 pm

katie - mmmm….these look yummy. Check out my cookie recipe book giveaway at

December 7, 2008 - 7:48 pm

Maris - I like your elastic waist sweatpants idea…let’s make that socially acceptable and I’d be right there baking with you! ;o)

December 8, 2008 - 6:54 am

Grover - mmmm…taste delicious. If you don’t have tartar, use 4 tbs baking powder and no baking soda. I’m eating one right now and wish you were here. Try em. They’re superduper

December 8, 2008 - 1:31 pm

Rosie - I love snickerdoodles!! I am going to try this version. I will also not a touch a recipe that uses shortening! Gross!

December 8, 2008 - 5:06 pm

DD - Perfect time of year for snickerdoodles. And that book was a fun one.

December 10, 2008 - 11:41 pm

Y - Those look lovely. I like the spicing on top.

December 13, 2008 - 1:31 pm

Melissa - I made these cookies this past Wednesday night for a potluck. They were supereasy, fed a crowd, and stayed soft.
I picked the recipe because I did not want to buy shortening, and I was not disappointed.
I stuck with making the 1-inch balls and ended it up with about 70 cookies. They’re great because you just pop ‘em in your mouth. Will definitely make these again.

December 16, 2008 - 12:44 pm

Erin - I made these yesterday and screwed one important thing up…I flattened the balls of dough. DON’T EVER DO THAT! It ruined the cookies somehow. The last batch I left alone, and it worked fine. The only reason I decided to flatten them was because my sugar cookie recipe calls for doing this, and I assumed these were close enough that doing that would be a good idea.
Thanks for posting this all the same!
They were tasty, just messed up the texture some.

December 16, 2008 - 1:53 pm

colloquial cook - Just made them! They are lovely. I kept the dough overnight in the fridge, it worked out perfectly in the morning. I made millions of tiny ones, bite size, perfect. Popped them all in a ziploc with the cinnamon sugar, shook it around – so easy! I recommend this recipe heartily.

January 7, 2009 - 1:28 pm

Sophie - I feel the same way; I feel old but still young. I wish I could bake all day, too, ah the life :)!

Your blog is really cute! I like the header :).

June 18, 2010 - 7:47 pm

Olivia - oh boy, these were delicious. i had to leave the kitchen immediately to prevent myself from gobbling them all up, they were that good (: thanks!

June 20, 2010 - 5:38 pm

Amanda - I’m glad you enjoyed them…

October 12, 2011 - 5:47 am

Snickerdoodles, Round Two | Slow Like Honey - [...] week during New York’s rather cold snap. I had stumbled upon this adorably designed book by Stacy Adimando called “Cookiepedia” which hosts an array of classic cookie recipes. While I’ve already made snickerdoodles before [...]

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