When it comes to cookies, we all have our preferences. Me, I'm a texture girl. I like them soft and chewy. Any soft and chewy cookie automatically has my attention. These snickerdoodles were redesigned with that in mind. I often don't like snickerdoodles that much; they get too crisp, too crunchy. Not these — they'll still be soft days after you've made them.
Now, I accept that this is anathema to those of you who want a crisp snickerdoodle. I understand. I respect that. But this is my recipe, and these cookies are super-soft! They puff up just a bit, with a slight cakey crumble, but not so cakey that you feel you're eating a muffin top. They are moist and chewy, tender and fragrant with cinnamon.
There are several reasons that these cookies stay soft. They have a relatively high amount of moisture, with an extra egg. They also take a cue from our favorite chocolate chip cookie and dispense with the mixer. There is no creaming of butter and sugar, so there's very little air in the dough. Less air, less dryness, more moistness. Also, melted butter and no mixer means less work and less cleanup for you. Bonus!
The cookies also bake very fast at a high temperature, so, again, they have less chance to dry out. It's very important to underbake these a little; that will help them stay soft and chewy.
One more tip: For really fresh and special snickerdoodles, try using different sorts of cinnamon, like Vietnamese cassia. Try grinding it fresh, too — it's easy to blend cinnamon sticks into powder in a grinder or even in a blender, and the taste will surprise you. It's shockingly bright and vivid. If you have only had cinnamon from a jar, try something fresher and see if it doesn't inspire you.
Super Soft Snickerdoodle Cookies
For the cookies:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cinnamon sugar:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 425°F. Gently melt the butter in a saucepan or in the microwave and let it cool while you mix the dry ingredients.
Place the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl and whisk to combine; set aside. Whisk the eggs and cooled butter together, then whisk in the vanilla. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until a soft dough forms.
Place the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a soup plate or shallow bow and whisk to combine. Form the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls, then roll each ball completely in the cinnamon sugar. Place 12 of them on an unlined, ungreased baking sheet and flatten slightly.
Bake until set, about 7 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Repeat baking the remaining dough, letting the baking sheet cool completely between batches.
Make ahead: The dough can be wrapped and refrigerated for up to 5 days. It can also be frozen in logs, wrapped in plastic wrap, and frozen.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.