Before I actually tried one, snickerdoodles made me yawn. A sugar cookie rolled in cinnamon? Boooooooooring!
Then I tried one. If I'm remembering correctly, it was purchased at Cinnamon Works, an unassuming little bakery near Seattle's Pike Place Market. The business caught my attention because all of its cookies were HUGE--and, honestly, I have a hard time turning down a huge cookie.
Anyway, at some point I tried one of the bakery's snickerdoodles. It was wonderful: Buttery, chewy and just a little bit spicy, thanks to the cinnamon-sugar coating.
I could have eaten one a day and been just about the happiest person on earth, but the thing is, I just don't get to Pike Place very often. So, I had to find a recipe that would allow me to replicate Cinnamon Works' wonderful cookie at home. Luckily, the very first recipe I tried (from Martha Stewart's 2006 Holiday Cookie publication) hit the bullseye.
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened (I tend to use salted butter; if you use unsalted, bump up the coarse salt to 1/2 teaspoon)
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk until everything seems incorporated. Set aside.
Put butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar into a large bowl and stir until pale and fluffy. (If you have a mixer, obviously use that instead of wearing out your arm. Using the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 3 minutes.) Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring until incorporated before adding the next one. Then slowly stir in the flour mixture.
Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and ground cinnamon in a small-ish bowl. Using a large tablespoon or, even better, a medium-sized ice cream scoop, form dough balls that are about 2 inches around (the size of a large golf ball). Roll in the cinnamon sugar, place on a cookie sheet - give them ample room, as they'll spread as a bake - and flatten just a bit with the bottom of a glass.
Bake for about 20 minutes, turning the baking sheet halfway through, until the cookies are starting to turn golden around the edges. Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes and then scarf them down :)