Soft and Chewy Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies

Although these cookies are simple and unassuming, they’re a new favorite.

Sometimes the simplest things really are the best.

Soft and Chewy Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies - Part soft sugar cookie, part chewy snickerdoodle, with tons of rich vanilla flavor!

They’re a chewy hybrid of a sugar cookie and a snickerdoodle. They have the buttery flavor of  sugar cookies without any of the dryness. Too often sugar cookies are dry, bland, and horribly crumbly. We all know those dried out poor excuses for cookies that are typically found on holiday platters and that disintegrate into a million crumbs all over your lap as you’re trying to eat neatly from a paper plate at someone’s holiday party and not get crumbs all over their carpet and couch. These are not those and they also don’t need to be rolled out or frosted or doctored up with sprinkles in order to be palatable, like many sugar cookies do.

They’re soft and pliable, with the chewy texture of a snickerdoodle, minus the cream or tartar or cinnamon-sugar coating, and I decided to call them a Sugar-Doodle.

Soft and Chewy Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies - Part soft sugar cookie, part chewy snickerdoodle, with tons of rich vanilla flavor!

When I made the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies, although those cookies didn’t end my quest for the perfect end-all-be-all chocolate chip cookie, the recipe opened my eyes to the chewy, texture-filled, jaw-workout powers of using bread flour in cookie dough. That recipe calls for both bread flour and cake flour, and although I believe cake flour is better being suited for cake-making and I’ll likely never use it in cookies again, bread flour can hop over from bread-making and into my cookies all it wants. Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour, usually by one to two percentage points, and the extra protein means extra gluten, translating into baked goods that have excellent structure and increased chewiness.

I made these cookies using about a half-and-half ratio of bread and all-purpose flour, and although I haven’t tested the recipe solely using all-purpose flour, the cookies will turn out, but just won’t be as chewy. I am not one to recommend seventeen dollar strands of saffron, nor advocate that it’s the organic way or the highway, and when it comes to recommending ingredients, I don’t flippantly say things matter unless I really think they do. For five bucks for a bag of bread flour it’s a good one to have around. Plus, you can make bread with it.

Soft and Chewy Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies - Part soft sugar cookie, part chewy snickerdoodle, with tons of rich vanilla flavor!

The cookie dough is classic, old-school cookie dough like my mom and grandma made. Cream together butter, sugars, an egg, splash of cream, vanilla, add the flour, baking soda and that’s it. Then, chill the dough for at least three hours because in order to create cookies that don’t turn into flat pancakes while baking, you need to start with well-chilled dough. I baked a trial batch of three cookies with dough that had only been chilled thirty minutes and although they weren’t paper thin, they were definitely flatter than those shown.

I typically keep a bowl of cookie dough in the refrigerator for up to five days after I initially make it. As desired, I bake off a couple cookies for that just-baked perfection that can’t be beat. If I happen to not use the dough within five days, I from balls and toss them into a ziplock, and then freeze it. As needed, I can dole out the frozen balls and bake as many cookies we want. Frozen dough doesn’t even have to be pre-thawed prior to baking. Simply take it out of the freezer while the oven is preheating, and if necessary, extend the baking time by an extra minute or two.

Be sure not to overbake these cookies if you want soft and chewy results. About nine minutes in my oven is perfect based on the size of dough used and that I prefer very soft, tender, and moist cookies. Even at about nine minutes, they look quite under-done on the tops, which are set but just barely. In general, if you wait to pull cookies from the oven until the tops are well-set, by the time they cool, they harden up too much. Plus, the bottoms will become too browned for my liking. Cookies can fool you into thinking they’re not done but somehow they always seem to set up dramatically as they cool. If you prefer crunchier cookies, extend the baking time to your liking.

Soft and Chewy Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies - Part soft sugar cookie, part chewy snickerdoodle, with tons of rich vanilla flavor!

Normally I prefer cookies that are made with a higher ratio of brown to granulated sugar because brown sugar keeps cookies softer, moister, and helps impart greater chewiness and a richer flavor, but in this recipe, the equal ratios worked out perfectly.

I infused plenty of vanilla flavor into these golden discs without needing to scrape out fourteen dollars worth of vanilla bean seeds from a Tahitian vanilla bean. Instead, I used a liberal dousing of homemade vanilla extract, but a heavy-handed stream of storebought will work if you haven’t started your own vanilla-making distillery yet. The resulting cookies are well-scented with vanilla, but balanced so that the buttery sweet dough shines.

Soft and Chewy Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies - Part soft sugar cookie, part chewy snickerdoodle, with tons of rich vanilla flavor!

Rather adding a kitchen sink medley of different kinds of chocolate, white chocolate, or butterscotch chips, I kept the ingredient list very simple. I want to get back to basics and some classic recipes and not every cookie recipe needs candy bars stuffed into it to be successful. These back-to-basics cookies stand on their own two feet incredibly well and are for those who can appreciate the cookie itself; the actual dough, rather than all the extras that seem to be found in cookies lately. Cookies made from cookie dough rather than leftover Halloween candy is nice for a change.

Sometimes I love well-stuffed cookies that can’t seem to hold one more chocolate chip, or decadent cakes with a myriad of flavor and textural elements going on, but sometimes rustic simplicity trumps all.

Soft and Chewy Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies - Part soft sugar cookie, part chewy snickerdoodle, with tons of rich vanilla flavor!

My other favorite part of these cookies, in addition to their flavor and texture, is that the recipe makes just eleven cookies. You could probably squeeze a dozen out if you like round numbers, but I weighed each mound of cookie dough out to exactly 2.25-ounces each, and yielded eleven generously-sized cookies. Heidi made similar cookies using the recipe from this cookbook and she yielded just nine cookies.

I’ve wanted to make some Lofthouse-style sugar cookies, but the popular recipes I’ve seen make four to five dozen cookies and have a pesky three-egg situation, making them tricky to halve. We are a family of three. We don’t need four dozen anything and small batch sizes of six cupcakes or eleven cookies is plenty and perfect.

I fear the pictures don’t do my new favorite cookies justice. It’s hard for that which seems plain and basic to compete with monster-this and stuffed-to-the-gills-that, but if you’re looking for a lightly-sweetened, buttery cookie with vanilla tones, with chewy edges and pillowy soft centers, these good-old fashioned cookies are where it’s at.

I loved them so much that I made another batch because we tore through the first eleven in record time.

Soft and Chewy Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies - Part soft sugar cookie, part chewy snickerdoodle, with tons of rich vanilla flavor!

Soft and Chewy Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies - Part soft sugar cookie, part chewy snickerdoodle, with tons of rich vanilla flavor!

Soft and Chewy Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Yield: 1 dozen generous-sized cookies

These cookies are a hybrid between a sugar cookie and a snickerdoodle, and are scented abundantly with vanilla. They have wonderfully chewy edges, thanks to the addition of bread flour, and soft, tender centers. The dough comes together very easily and quickly but needs to be refrigerated for at least 3 hours prior to baking so the cookies bake up thick, puffy, and chewy. The dough can be refrigerated for up to 5 days so you can bake off one or two cookies at a time, if preferred. This is a small-batch recipe and makes just one-dozen, perfect for times when more is not always better.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 large egg

2 tablespoons cream or milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup bread flour (all-purpose flour may be substituted and used exclusively; bread flour yields chewier cookies and is recommended)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste

Directions:

To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on low speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the egg, cream, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flours, baking soda, salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute. Transfer dough to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, up to 5 days. Notes regarding the flour - solely using all-purpose flour will work, the cookies will not be as chewy or rise as well because bread flour creates chewier results and gives greater rise. Also, I live in a dry climate and only need 1 3/4 cups flour total but if you are in more humidity or your dough is very moist or loose, adding up to 1/4 cup of additional flour, for 2 cups total, is possible. The more flour, the more the cookies will stay domed and puffed while baking.

Preheat oven to 350°F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat, parchment, or spray with cooking spray. Using a 2-ounce cookie scoop, form heaping mounds weighing 2 1/4-ounces each (weighed on a scale, which is approximately a scant 1/4-cup measure) and place them on the baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until pale golden and edges have just set, even if slightly undercooked in the center, as cookies will firm up as they cool (The cookies shown in the photos were baked for 9 minutes and have chewy edges with soft pillowy centers. For crunchier cookies, extend baking time by 1 to 3 minutes). Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Inspired by White Chocolate Snickerdoodles and the Saffron-Vanilla Snickerdoodles in The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee: Growing, Roasting, and Drinking, with Recipes

http://www.averiecooks.com/2012/11/sugar-doodle-vanilla-cookies.html

Related Recipes:

White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Cookies – Similar to today’s recipe however before baking the dough was rolled in a cinnamon-sugar coating and white chocolate chips are in the batter. I played with the flour type, quantity, and amount of baking soda in today’s version and really love the texture of the Sugar-Doodle Cookies because they’re much chewier, puffier, and plumper. The Snickerdoodles are thinner but have white chocolate and the cinnamon-sugar coating going for them. I can make a case for either version

Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars with Pink Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting – Snickerdoodle-Sugar Cookies, baked into bar form. Bars are faster to bake than individual cookies and no dough chilling is required, and the sweet yet tangy cream cheese frosting is the perfect complement to the bars

Puffy Vanilla and Peanut Butter Chip Cookies – These cookies are bursting with vanilla flavor, with strong notes of peanut butter, from the peanut butter chips used. They are puffy, fluffy, and became a hit on Pinterest and people write frequently saying they tried and loved these

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies {from Jacques Torres} – The cookies use a combination of bread flour and cake flour, and although the cake flour didn’t do it for me in these, using bread flour in cookie dough opened my eyes to the chewy, hearty, texture-filled results it creates in cookies

Peanut Butter Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies – One of my favorite cookies that I’ve ever made and they are consistently my most popular cookies with readers. They are old fashioned in many ways, butter, peanut butter, oatmeal, all in one, and the white chocolate chips are the feather in their cap

Do you like Sugar Cookies? Snickerdoodles? Have a favorite cookie recipe you can’t live without?

If you have favorite recipes, please link them. You’d think it would be hard to screw up butter, sugar, eggs, and flour, but there are millions of dud cookie recipes out there to prove it.

Too often sugar cookies and snickerdoodles are crumbly, dry, bland, or boring, which renders them inedible. And if they’re soft, like the popular Lofthouse-style sugar cookies, many times they’re almost too soft and devoid of any texture or chewiness. Soft is good but I don’t like mushy; chewiness is also important. Cookies can be tricky.

The winner of the An Edible Mosaic Cookbook Giveaway is Marina@Picnic at Marina

The winner of the Special K Gift Basket Giveaway is Cassie

   

138 Responses to “Soft and Chewy Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies”

  1. #
    51
    Dana — March 29, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    I made these cookies today and they are completely AMAZING. I added white baking chips for extra vanilla flour and I love them SO much! These are definite keepers. Thank you SO much for this fantastic recipe!!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 29th, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      I am so glad to hear you liked them! Since you like these flavors and you like white chocolate, even if you don’t love-love-love coconut oil, I cannot say enough good things about these. They’re magically good as well! http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2013/01/coconut-oil-white-chocolate-cookies.html

      LMK if you try any other recipes b/c I love the field reports! :)

      Reply

      • Dana replied: — March 30th, 2013 at 5:47 pm

        Ooh, thanks for the suggestion! I’ve never used coconut oil before, so I will definitely have to get some and give these a try. They sound fabulous!

        • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 30th, 2013 at 6:27 pm

          You will love love love baking with it. It’s opened up a whole new flavor and baking world for me!

  2. #
    52
    Aya — May 17, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    These cookies aren’t bad, but they don’t have much taste. The three hour wait seemed like forever too. The dough was pretty good, though. I took quite a few finger fulls. I’ll be sticking to the chocolate recipes. That’s where it’s at. ;)

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 18th, 2013 at 12:59 am

      Thanks for trying them and it’s very hard to compare a subtle, vanilla-scented cookie with bold chocolate. It’s apples and oranges. These are a sugar cookie. Or sugar/snickerdoodle hybrid and I know they’re a little ‘plain’ for some people but I do love them. Thanks for trying the recipe. The dough chilling is just for your benefit so your cookies don’t spread as much and I recommend it with ALL cookie recipes; but if you don’t find it helpful, omit and bake immediately but your cookies will be thinner and flatter.

      Reply

  3. #
    53
    Tedi — June 24, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Plan on making these tomorrow!
    Do I leave the dough out for a few minutes to soften up before I start rolling them into balls?
    Also considering adding an extra egg yolk. Do you think this will be a good move?

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — June 24th, 2013 at 7:31 pm

      Make the recipe as written, no extra yolk – unless you also want to start tinkering with flour, baking soda, and sugar ratios, too. It will have a cascade reaction. Your call but I love the recipe as written.

      I personally like to shape my dough into balls FIRST – then refrigerate them on a plate and bake as needed. See this post for visual example http://www.averiecooks.com/2013/06/reeses-pieces-soft-peanut-butter-cookies.html

      LMK how you like them!

      Reply

      • Tedi replied: — June 24th, 2013 at 7:42 pm

        Def don’t want to mess with all those ratios, no extra yolk!

        Ahh good thinking! That totally didn’t dawn on me. Will def form the dough balls first =)

        Will update you tomorrow on how they came out!

      • Tedi replied: — June 25th, 2013 at 3:49 pm

        They came out soft and chewy but there was a strange after taste…almost acidic….not sure where that came from =( Any thoughts?

        • Averie Sunshine replied: — June 25th, 2013 at 5:10 pm

          Maybe your baking soda? Maybe an un-fresh egg or cream past it’s prime?

          I love them and have never had that happen. Butter, sugar, egg, cream, flour, baking soda. Nothing too crazy there that I would think would give a strange aftertaste.

  4. #
    54
    Laura — August 5, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Don’t snickerdoodles have cinnamon in them?

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — August 5th, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      These aren’t a true snickerdoodle. They’re a hybrid of a couple fave cokies. Enjoy!

      Reply

  5. #
    55
    Monica M — August 14, 2013 at 12:45 am

    Hello! I made these and they came out very soft and tasty! :) The only problem I had was that they had a weird aftertaste and I’m pretty sure it was the baking soda. I don’t know if I have put too much of it or if it’s because I’ve had that baking soda in the cupboard for more than a year. Although, I have used that baking soda before and never had that problems. Or I wonder if maybe I should have baked the cookies for a bit longer?

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — August 14th, 2013 at 12:48 am

      Not sure but a year sounds like…awhile. I normally replace every 3-6 mos. For a dollar or so, it’s well worth it. You could always bake longer and see, too. Or it could have been your sprinkles maybe? Glad they came out soft for you!

      Reply

      • Monica M replied: — August 14th, 2013 at 1:01 am

        Yeah I will definetely replace it then! I think they were slightly underbaked as well, I will try to bake them for longer. Thanks for your suggestions! :)

  6. #
    56
    Subashini — August 31, 2013 at 3:34 am

    Because I’m currently OBSESSED with your chewy Snickers cookie dough, I was wondering if you’ve tried this recipe with just all-purpose flour, with cornstarch added? Do you think it’ll work?

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — August 31st, 2013 at 3:37 am

      I haven’t tried it but it would probably work just fine – although the texture will be a little bit different (less chewy, more softbatch-style). I would use 2 tsp cornstarch and at least 1 3/4 cup AP flour. Possibly up to about 2 c of AP flour.

      Usually I need a smidge more AP than bread flour, ounce for ounce, in a recipe.

      If you try it, LMK!

      Reply

  7. #
    57
    Annie — December 25, 2013 at 2:28 am

    This will be the only sugar/hybrid cookie recipe I will make for the rest of my life! I have tried many recipes (from sugar cookies to all kinds of snicker doodles) and all of them turned out blah (I’ve been searching for years and too many baking fails to count), this recipe is by far the best. These taste very similar to Mrs. Field’s butter nibblers but much more yummier.

    Just tried the recipe yesterday in the morning before running errands so was perfect to pop in the fridge and come back and bake. End up not baking till today but they turned out delicious!!! They baked beautifully and also quickly. Also took your advice and added a but more ap flour just in case and a bit more vanilla–vanilla bean paste (the good stuff). Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — December 25th, 2013 at 7:00 am

      So glad you love them and they’re one of my fave cookies. Simple ingredients but combined in such a way that just works. Glad you love them as much as I do! I, too, have tried umpteen blah, dry, bland, flat-baking, boring snickerdoodle, sugar cookies, etc and finally found these to be the answer to all those issues. Vanilla bean paste would be excellent in these (great thinking) and glad the bit more AP flour did the trick, too!

      Reply

  8. #
    58
    meege — February 28, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    the best ever cookies i have ever made! didn’t put batter in fridge, but they were very delicious when warm!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — February 28th, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      Glad to hear they’re the best cookies you’ve EVER made!! That’s awesome! :)

      Reply

  9. #
    59
    Sara — April 7, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Hi I tried these cookies and although they tasted wonderful, they spread like crazy and required a longer cooking time. I chilled the dough and followed all directions except I used all purpose flour and may have actually added a little less than I intended. Still, it would have only been about a 1/4 cup difference in flour. Could this have been the cause?

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — April 7th, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      Yes all signs point to not enough flour: spread like crazy and required longer baking time. Even 1/4 cup in baking, in a recipe of this size, that’s monumental. Re-make with the correct amounts and you will be in much better shape! Because that said, they are prone to a bit of spreading regardless, so being sure to use the proper amount of flour is essential to combat that.

      Reply

  10. #
    60
    Joy — May 12, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Averie, the cookie dough was amazing i could not stop eating it! The cookies were good too. Only problem is i didn’t add enough flour so they were flat. But still good! :)

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 12th, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      Glad you loved the dough :) And yes these cookies can be a little prone to spreading so next time bulk it up with slightly more flour if you think your dough is a little too loose and you’ll be set! :)

      Reply

  11. #
    61
    Sakina — May 24, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Hello!

    I’m new to baking and I have to say my dear, finding your site is tantamount to a kid being let loose in the playground! So many “colorful rides” to choose from, so spoilt for choice, but I’m going straight for your choc chip and chunk cookies first, and then trying this out for my significant half because he loves all things vanilla, and not too chocolatey.

    My only issue though is that I reside in Singapore, and the climate is pretty humid here. Warm weathers all year round. Question is, are there any noteworthy tweaks I should be administering to your recipes? eg: baking time/ lowering/ increasing temp? I’m interested in the science of baking, and like i feel that once I know all the “how’s and why’s” I will be able to avoid disappointing results in the end.

    I mean, your cookies!! I would be so sad if I toiled for these babies and not get to tasting it. You make vanilla cookies look like every PMS-ing lady’s best friend.

    Sincerely,
    Your fan all the way from across the globe
    xoxo

    Reply

  12. #
    62
    Darlene — July 25, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    I have been a fan of snickerdoodles and cookies in general all my life, hence the name of my website. I plan to try your Sugar Doodle recipe soon. I moved from Dallas to the Denver area a year ago and am wondering if I should make any high altitude modifications to the recipe. I know that cookies in general require minimal modifications for altitude, but for reference, could you tell me the approximate altitude where you live?

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — July 25th, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      I live at sea level, San Diego. I am definitely not an expert in altitude baking based on where I live. I know the King Arthur website has a page on altitude baking tips (google it) that’s very helpful and thorough. Good luck and let me know how things go, and what if any changes you make!

      Reply

  13. #
    63
    Cookie — September 1, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    I love love love a good vanilla cookie and was anxious to try this out. But even with following the recipe to the exact the first time out, the cookies were terribly flat and a bit ‘uncooked’ in the center despite baking to fairly browned edges. I do a ton of baking and thinking I may not have chilled the dough long enough the first time, I gave it second shot with boosted vanilla and a bit extra flour and about 5-6 hrs chilling. They came out of the oven with a little bit of lift but as soon as they started to cool they again went completely flat. They were more evenly baked this time with a few extra minutes of time but just didn’t have any resemblence to anything close to mildly puffy. Wasn’t looking for a lofthouse, but was hoping for a lighter cookie in the end.

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — September 1st, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      Thanks for trying the recipe and for being so diligent and trying it twice and sorry they didn’t work out for you. The recipe is adapted from the Saffron-Vanilla Snickerdoodles from The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee Cookbook that I linked in the post. They aren’t a super puffy cookie as you can see from my photos but I’ve never had the experience with them that you did where they went flat. I use King Arthur flour which has a bit higher gluten in it than say Gold Medal or others which can give things a bit more lift. That would be my only suggestion? Sorry I can’t offer any more advice because they’ve always come out great for me.

      Reply

  14. #
    64
    Jacqueline Hodges — October 21, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    My dough is in the fridge now, but I must say the batter is pretty good. I can’t wait for the last hour to finish so I can start baking. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 21st, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      Enjoy! You could probably cheat and do 20 mins in the freezer if you just cannot wait… :)

      Reply

Leave a Comment





Current ye@r *