A few years back, I bought myself Carole Walter’s “Great Cookies,” and it is easily one of the best cookbooks I’ve ever had. The recipes have extremely specific directions and loads of tips, resulting in perfect cookies every time.

Today I thought I’d share my favorite recipe from this book: Snickerdoodles! They’re a soft, chewy sugar cookie encased in a crackly coating of cinnamon sugar. People love these- I remember back when Mr. B and I were dating, I took a batch to visit him at school and as we sat in his dorm talking, I watched our friend Phil quietly eat almost every single Snickerdoodle I'd made (Brad was not pleased, but I was!)

These are perfect for office potlucks, bake sales, and casual gatherings. The dough and baked cookies both freeze well, so they’re good to keep on hand.

Bear in mind that the dough needs to chill for 8 hours, so it's wise to spread the baking over 2 days.

Snickerdoodles (From Carole Walter's Great Cookies)
2 and 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (don't substitute)
1 and 3/4 sugar, divided into 1 and 1/2 and 1/4 c
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Strain together flour, cream of tartar, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and shortening on medium speed until lightened in color. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar in a steady stream, and mix another two minutes.

Reduce mixer speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing until just blended. Scrape dough into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let chill for 8 hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, position the shelves in the upper half of the oven, or in the middle and bake only one sheet at a time (that's what I do. In my oven, anything on the bottom rack tends to burn so I just do it one cookie sheet at a time, despite the fact that I have double ovens). Heat oven to 350 and line baking sheets with foil.

Combine the 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Scoop pieces of dough about the size of walnuts and roll into a ball, flatten slightly, then roll in the cinnamon and sugar. Place 3 inches apart on baking sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes.

Remove from oven when they are golden brown around edges (they'll look a bit puffy, but will deflate as they cool, creating perfect, homemade looking cracks). Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove from foil and set on cooling racks.

These cookies will last 3 weeks if stored airtight. They can be frozen for a few months. To defrost, pop them in a 350 degree oven for five minutes- they’ll taste freshly baked!

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