The Sweet Story of Snickerdoodle Cookies


A photo of Oz Girl

The snickerdoodle has been around a long time. Depending on who you believe, the snickerdoodle came from Germany, or is Dutch in origin, or perhaps got its start in New England. According to one source, “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.”

Snickerdoodle cookies

I’ve varied my snickerdoodle cookie recipe many times in an attempt to bake the perfect cookie. But in many ways, the basic recipe IS the best cookie, with some minor variations that involve tricks more than ingredients.

Tip No. 1: The texture of your cookies will benefit greatly from hand mixing the dough, as opposed to beating with a mixer. I don’t know the technicalities behind this, but I know I’ve seen this advice several times and I’ve tried it myself, and it DOES seem to make a difference. Try your snickerdoodles both ways, and see what you think.

Tip No. 2: Make sure your butter and eggs are at room temperature. The obvious? Not only is it easier to mix the butter by hand when it’s soft, but having these ingredients at room temperature also benefits the final cookie texture.

11/5/2013 10:13:48 AM

I always make my cookies by hand -- chocolate chip - peanut butter clouds and of course snickerdoodles. I have a special bowl and large silver spoon that is worn on the end. It's my secret ingredient to baking the best cookies -- along with the love.

Oz Girl
3/10/2010 9:32:04 AM

Kristy, glad you gave it a try with the lard, at least now we know it doesn't work as well. Sometimes I get disappointed when I try recipes and they don't work out well or we don't care for them, BUT then I remind myself that's how you find the keepers! :-)

3/8/2010 5:51:04 PM

I made these today and decided to try them with lard instead of the shortening, wondering the same as Alaska Susan. Mine did not come out chewy at all. The taste was great but the texture was too soft & delicate. Great recipe! Thanks!

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