What’s the difference between a sugar cookie and a snickerdoodle?
Not too terribly much from what I can discern.
Sugar cookies are only rolled in sugar whereas snickerdoodles are rolled in both cinnamon and sugar.
There’s also some splitting hairs over the type of leavening agent used: baking powder or a combination of baking soda + cream of tartar.
Some recipes call for shortening and butter rather than solely butter when making snickerdoodles.
I did more research on the finer points of sugar cookies and snickerdoodle cookies than one should unless your name is Alton Brown.
But I’m all about field research when it has to do with cookies.
I wanted to add a little extra somethin’ somethin’ to these and decided to add white chocolate chips.
Then again, I love white chocolate as evidence by stockpiling the TJ’s chocolate chips before they became seasonally unavailable which happens after Christmas in my area.
I wish I could stockpile cookie butter but that’s currently a sad story. Sigh.
You can omit the white chocolate chips if you’re a snickerdoodle purist or you don’t like white chocolate. I don’t understand you people who don’t like white chocolate but to each her own.
These cookies are on the thin side but don’t let that deceive you into thinking they’re crunchy.
In fact they’re incredibly chewy. I only like very soft and chewy cookies and these are so chewy you can bend them.
The brown sugar helps with the chewy factor and keeps them soft and flexible.
The flavor is spot on to my memories of working at the mall in high school and devouring Mrs. Field’s snickerdoodle cookies on my breaks. Between Mrs. Field’s and Cinnabons I was in food court heaven.
The cinnamon and sugar granules on these cookies and the teeny bit of graininess that I could feel from the sugar crystals as I chewed reminded me of my fond Mrs. Fields’s days.
My cookies have a hint more vanilla flavoring, by design, too.
And of course, there’s white chocolate chips, by design.
White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Cookies (with Vegan and Gluten Free options)
Makes 21 small to medium-sized cookies using my 1 inch cookie scoop. Or, approximately 12 to 15 larger-sized cookies.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups flour
optional: 1/2 c white chocolate chips (increase to 2/3 to 3/4 c if you like a lot of chips, or use a combo of white/dark, white/butterscotch, all dark, etc or if you want more traditional sugar cookies, omit chips)
Plus: 1 tbsp cinnamon & 1/4 c white sugar, mixed in a small bowl for dipping/rolling the dough (to retain a true “sugar cookie” rather than snickerdoodle, omit the cinnamon and just roll in sugar)
Preheat oven to 350F. Cream together (by hand or in a mixer) softened butter and sugars until very smooth and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Stir in the cinnamon, baking soda, and flour and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
Stir in the white chocolate chips and place the whole mixing bowl into the freezer for about 10 minutes so that it chills a bit. You can also chill the dough for an hour or longer in the refrigerator.
While the dough is chilling, prepare the cinnamon sugar mixture for rolling.
After approximately 10 minutes, remove the chilled dough from the freezer and form 1 inch balls. I highly recommend this cookie scoop. It has changed the results of my baking dramatically. Available at Bed Bath & Beyond for about $4 dollars.
Roll the balls through the cinnamon sugar mixture and place on Silpat-lined, parchment-lined or sprayed cookie sheets.
Bake at 350F for 8 to 10 minutes or until just barely set. Remove cookies from the oven even if they look a bit underdone as they will firm up. Allow the cookies to cool, well, on the cookie sheets before attempting to remove them.
To make gluten free, use a gluten free flour blend.
To make vegan, use margarine or Earth Balance in place of the butter and use 1 chia/flax egg instead of the egg. Use vegan white chocolate chips, omit them, or use another chip of your choice.
Cream your butter and sugar very well; make it fluffy which will ensure fluffier cookies.
Do not over-mix the flour once you’ve added it. This will result in tough cookies.
Chilled dough is key to these cookies retaining some height and not flattening out completely. If you prefer to chill your dough in the refrigerator for an hour or longer, feel free.
Some recipes call for shortening. I have read many that use half butter and half shortening, i.e. 1/4 cup of each in a recipe this size, and the shortening will make them puffier, but also crunchier.
Some recipes call for baking soda in addition to or instead of baking powder. I don’t think it could hurt to add 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. I will trial this in future batches to see the impact and if that makes them puffier.
This recipe is easy and I got what I wanted: soft and chewy cookies that remind me of the Mrs. Fields snickerdoodles I used to inhale.
I purposely kept the batch size small. If you make slightly bigger cookies than I did, we’re talking a dozen to 15 cookies, max.
Around the holidays or post-holidays for all you who are have those pesky New Year’s resolutions, the last thing any of us needs is 3 or 4 dozen of anything. So that’s your nudge to try these.
And if you’re a white-chocolate-in-your-cookies fan, one of my favorite recipes of 2011 was the
New Years Resolutions are overrated anyway.
Now, it’s time for a cookie.
Do you like snickerdoodles? Or sugar cookies? Do you use the names interchangeably?
Do you have any cookies, or food or recipes in general, that you pine away for in your memory?
I have to say, Auntie Annie’s Pretzels dipped in butter and cream cheese, Cinnabons with extra frosting, and Mrs. Field’s Snickerdoodles rank right up there for me.
And who says you can’t get a balanced diet from the choices at the mall food court.
And from cookies to stevia, thanks for the NuNaturals Stevia Giveaway entries.