Unfortunately, everyone's favorite cinnamon-and-sugar-dusted-cookie-with-the-crazy-name isn't always so wholesome. Most recipes call for equal measures of shortening and butter - that's what helps the cookies keep their perfectly rounded shape and gives them their pillowy texture. Sadly, shortening is on the 'Naughty' list these days, so to make these cookies healthier (if you can call something with more butter healthier!) and to give them a richer flavor, I baked up an all-butter version.
The recipe is based on a Cooks Illustrated cookie and, given the copious amount of research that goes into each of their recipes, I felt awful about changing it...but sometimes a girl needs to just follow her heart. And my heart wanted all-butter, shortening-free Snickerdoodles. I actually ended up shipping these cookies off to my Grandma (they're her favorites - and at 93 years old, she knows what she likes!) but not before I tasted a few...for quality control purposes, of course.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, unsalted and slightly softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 Tablespoons sugar, for rolling
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon, for rolling
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone liner. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt until well combined. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until fluffy and well mixed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, beating until mixture is smooth and well-combined. Add the dry ingredients incrementally and stir until just combined.
Mix the additional sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl or on a steep-sided plate. Form the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat completely. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. (Tip: To make the rolling process easier and less messy, return dough, tightly covered with plastic wrap, to the refrigerator between batches.)
Bake until the edges of the cookies just begin to set, about 8-10 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool briefly on the baking sheet before transferring to a clean countertop or wire rack to cool.
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