I originally posted this recipe almost exactly five years ago, WITHOUT A PHOTO (I KNOW, RIGHT?!), so it's time for an update. I've made these a whole bunch of times since then. I really love this recipe even better than my mom's, which used shortening.
It also has a secret ingredient, which is LOVE! Just kidding, it's vanilla sugar from Penzeys. I mix the vanilla sugar and cinnamon to roll the dough in, instead of just regular sugar. I think it makes it even yummier. I did notice that this time my cookies were more cracked and weird-shaped than they normally are, and I entirely blame the fact that I ran out of my Penzeys cream of tartar and had to buy some McCormick (for shame!). It was a significant difference though, so this really is what I'm blaming.
Anyway, I decided to make these for Cookie Monday this week after doing an informal Twitter poll. My loveypie Cody picked snickerdoodles, which others then supported, and thus it was decided. I made one recipe, which yielded five dozen cookies for me, and I ran out of them in the afternoon. After some trial and error each week it does seem that six dozen is the ideal amount. I will keep that in mind for next week!
So now I'm going to re-post the original recipe, along with a new photo.
Cinnamon-Sugar Cookies (Snickerdoodles)
Everyday Food, September 2004
These cookies will keep up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature; include a few marshmallows to help the cookies stay moist.
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still slightly firm
1 2/3 cups sugar, plus 1/4 cup for topping
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer, cream butter and 1 2/3 cups sugar until ligt, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add egg and vanilla; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping bowl as needed, until dough comes together when squeezed (it will appear dry).
2. Make the topping: in a small bowl, mix together remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon.
3. Shape dough: Scoop 48 level tablespoons. Squeeze each tightly with fist; roll into balls. Roll balls in topping to coat evenly. Place 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheet; flatten with bottom of a glass. Sprinkle tops with remaining topping.
4. Bake, one sheet at a time, until tops are puffed and crackly, and bottoms are golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Cool slightly on sheets; transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Yield: 4 dozen