A few thoughts on the snickerdoodle, along with pictures here: http://wp.me/pUW3S-lt
Along with the "Whoopie Pie," (which is actually a sandwich cookie), the Snickerdoodle is one of my favorite cookie names. This whimsical dessert is a simple sugar cookie coated in cinnamon and sugar.
The only difference from the average sugar cookie is the leavening material. Many snickerdoodle recipes call for baking soda (a base) and cream of tartar (an acid) instead of baking powder. These two combinations both leaven using an acid base reaction to produce carbon dioxide bubble, making the cookie lighter. The only difference is the acidic taste of the cream of tartar. This gives the snickerdoodle the bite that separates it from a sugar cookie with some cinnamon on top.
Snickerdoodles should have that distinctive cracked surface for an alternately crispy and chewy bite. You can easily increase or decrease baking time to vary how crispy or chewy the cookies are. Also, I refrigerated the dough before rolling it into spheres to make it easier to handle and to get it to pick up more cinnamon-sugar mix.
I use the recipe in the Joy of Cooking and have found it tasty and serviceable. I've not had any problems with them not cracking and until I read this thread had no idea that could be a problem. Either I'm an awecredible Snickerdoodle baker or I've gotten lucky. ($20 on lucky for the record.)
So I used to make snickerdoodles all the time, but lost the recipe. Turns out, the recipe is pretty much the same throughout all snickerdoodle recipes.
I made snickerdoodles last night and baked one batch right away and they came out crackly and beautiful and soft. I let the rest of the dough refrigerate while I ran some errands. When I baked the refrigerated dough, they fell flat and did not crinkle. Should I have let the dough come to room temp, or is it something to do with cream of tartar and baking soda having an immediate reaction once mixed with liquid and I should bake right away? My oven is definitely not the problem.
I just tried these snickerdoodle blondies last week:
So easy, and absolutely delicious! Upon sampling, they prompted one little girl scout to declare "You have magical powers over food!" That's probably the best compliment I've ever received. I don't think I'll ever go back to making snickerdoodles the standard way again.
I made these (or very similar recipe) recently as well. Snickerdoodles are my favorite cookies, but I hate waiting for pan after pan of cookies. Lazy, I know, but I turn most cookies into bars. I love these blondies, great flavor (although I up the amount of cinnamon), and one pan instead of cookie sheets. My kids raved about them as well.
Snickerdoodles - 1966