The holidays are always a good chance to go crazy and indulge in food and drink. I think this is a good thing, eating with friends and family, taking naps after eating turkey, getting tipsy on eggnog, and taking in all manners of baked goods. And cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. As the holidays approach the sublime snickerdoodle is one of the best cookies out there.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the four pillars of cookie awesomeness are chocolate chip, ginger molasses, oatmeal raisin, and the snickerdoodle. I love holiday baking and snickerdoodles are always a good choice to hit up.
A major ingredient in snickerdoodles is Cream of Tartar. Generally this will be the ingredient that kitchens won’t have. Cream of Tartar is composed of tartaric acid, a byproduct of wine making, and this acidity helps provide balance to the volume of cinnamon that is used. The balance creates this perfect storm of sweet, sour, savory cookie goodness.
Sometimes you’ll see recipes that omit Cream of Tartar for baking powder. This is because baking powder is actually a combination of cream of tartar and baking soda. Instead, this acid-alkali concoction creates a yin-yang balance for baking.
I particularly like this recipe. It’s courtesy of Gale Gand, who used to have her own show on Food Network. She is a superstar pastry chef who has a gaggle of restaurants, so she definitely knows how to rock butter and sugar.
Now go bake some snickerdoodles! Soft, crispy, either way is perfect!