Snickerdoodle Shortbread

Hi. Checking in to say hello. I have been spending my time…I don’t honestly know how I spend my time. Mostly horrified by the news of the world? But I have been kind of into baking again lately. Inspired by some new books and some folks doing great work online.

These cookies, from the wonderful Cookies: The New Classics by Jesse Szewcyzk, are really great. A snickerdoodle for people who prefer shortbread. I am those people! The clever addition of cream of tartar to the dough to give a hint of tang really makes these and complicates them just enough to make them feel special. I might argue they taste more like Cinnamon Toast Crunch shortbread, but that is only a compliment (related: has anyone else tried that Churros cereal?!—so good!). They also recall some of the bizcochitos I ate in New Mexico. Whatever you call them, they are super and make a great springboard—you can easily experiment with other flavored sugars.

I hope everyone is doing as well as possible as we all try to figure out how to live with (or revolt against?!) the constantly changing new normal.

Snickerdoodle Shortbread (from Cookies: The New Classics by Jesse Szewczyk)

  • 2 3/4 cups (352 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons/226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (50g) confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar, DIVIDED
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and cream of tartar.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, confectioner’s sugar, and 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar. Mis on medium speed until light and fluffy, a few minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and mix on medium speed until incorporated, 1-2 minutes. Turn the mixer off and add the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until a clumpy dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it together into a ball. Roll out to 1/3-inch thick. Use a 2-inch round cutter to cut out cookies. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Press dough scraps together into a ball and repeat the process. You should end up with about 24 cookies. Put the baking sheet with all of the cookies into your freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line another baking sheet with parchment. In a small bowl mix together the remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and the two teaspoons of ground cinnamon.

Remove the sheet of cookies from freezer and divide the frozen cookies evenly between your two baking sheets. Bake both sheets, rotating from top to bottom racks halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden and fragrant—19-23 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for a couple of minutes before tossing them—one or two at a time— gently in the cinnamon sugar. Be sure to coat all sides. Return coated cookies to trays to cool completely.

7 comments to “Snickerdoodle Shortbread”

  1. What a delight for this to show up in my inbox today! It’s rainy and dreary here, and just thinking about these cookies makes me feel warmer and a tiny touch happier. Can’t wait to try them out. I have always had a cinnamon intolerance but it magically went away after I had a baby? So I think that means I deserve these cookies.

  2. I’ll give these a shot! I have Cookies and have made about 5-6 recipes from it and I’ve been disappointed by most of them – they’re just missing a je ne sais quoi (except for the brown butter brownie cookies which were exceptional). I also think that they’re all undersalted.

  3. antarvani says:

    March 25th, 2022 at 1:14 pm

    Tim, I look forward to your stories and posts. You’ve never steered me wrong. Thank you for the recipe.

  4. I am also those people!

  5. I too have Jesse’s cookie book, so many wonderful ideas.

  6. Yum. Thanks, I was debating this buy but is now a must buy. Tim, I’m having a micro-wedding in Chicago this August. Could you recommend a good restaurant for a celebratory meal for 25 in the downtown area?

  7. So glad to see your writing again! I’ll be trying these in the cold rainy week ahead!

What do you think?