Snickerdoodles Just in Time for the Fourth of July

I guess I’m not a very traditional Grandma, but I don’t often have cookies in the house. Christmas and Valentine’s Day are the most common times when I make cookies, but now my daughter has provided a “new” kind of holiday cookie to add to the repertoire.

I put “new” in quotation marks because the Snickerdoodle recipe she used was one handed down a couple of generations. The newness comes from the bright addition of the colored sugars, especially the “red hots” red sugar topping, a product I had not seen before. The recipe below includes some added cinnamon to the colored sugars, in case you are not able to find this particular kind of sugar.

Snickerdoodles are good summer cookies, because the oven doesn’t have to be on for a long time, and their light goodness goes wonderfully with a tray of bright fruits of the season. And the name itself can be a great discussion topic. I went to everybody’s favorite reference source to find some kind of meaning for the name. Wikipedia gave us this background:

The Joy of Cooking claims that snickerdoodles are probably German in origin, and that the name is a corruption of the German word Schneckennudeln (lit. “snail noodles”), a kind of pastry. A different author suggests that the word “snicker” comes from the German word Schnecke, which describes a snail shape.Yet another hypothesis suggests that the name has no particular meaning or purpose and is simply a whimsically named cookie that originated from a New England tradition of fanciful cookie names.

 So enjoy these cookies, whether coated in colored sugars or in their traditional garb. Just be sure to use butter, if at all possible, for the best flavor.

Darcie’s Snickerdoodles
(adapted from Aunt Merry’s recipe)

1 c butter
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 c flour
2 t cream of tartar
1/2 t salt
1 t soda

Holiday Topping
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 t cinnamon (optional if the red sugar has cinnamon flavoring)
2 T red sugar with or without cinnamon flavoring
2 T blue sugar

“Everyday” Topping*
2 T sugar
2 t cinnamon
* May need to double this to cover all the cookies

1.  Cream butter, sugar, and eggs.
2.  Sift dry ingredients together and blend into the creamed mixture
3.  Shape in balls by rounded teaspoonfuls.
4.  Mix your choice of Topping ingredients in a small bowl and roll the balls in this mixture.
5.  Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Dip a flat-bottomed glass in the sugar and cinnamon and flatten the cookies slightly. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until set.

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