The recipe says to sift. Do it. Or make your preschooler do it. Either way.

I love snickerdoodles, but I struggle with the fact that every recipe I’ve ever liked uses shortening. I’ve decided that I need to get over my aversion to Crisco, accept that I only do this once a year, and just plow ahead.


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Extra granulated sugar and cinnamon for decoration


Cream together shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and mix until creamy.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Sifting is mandatory and should not be skipped under penalty of death (or perhaps just really crappy cookies). Add to the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated.

Chill dough for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or a nonstick silicone baking mat.

Mix together granulated sugar and cinnamon and set aside in a small bowl.

Roll dough into walnut-sized balls, and roll the dough balls into the cinnamon sugar mix. Place on cookie sheet 2″ apart, and press with two fingers to flatten.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, then cool cookies on a wire rack.


I’ve never met a kid who doesn’t like snickerdoodles. Mine is no exception.

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5 Responses

  1. Confession: in all my many years of baking, I’ve never sifted anything ever. I asked my pastry chef roommate once, “When they say ‘sift together” they mean ‘dump in a bowl’, right?” Just for the pained expression on her face.

  2. Nancy says:

    Hey! That’s my recipe! How did they turn out? Because, as you may remember, when I make this recipe they turn out like crap, despite the fact that I got the recipe from my sister-in-law who makes the most heavenly snickerdoodles in the world. (So heavenly that she wraps them and gives them to me for Christmas. And that makes me very happy. Because, as I stated above, mine turn out like crap.)

  3. Alisa says:

    Lori, you’re cracking me up.

    Nancy, they turn out well (and thank you for the recipe from way back at the first cookie-baking extravaganza in San Jose!), but I wouldn’t go so far as to say heavenly. I’m pretty sure that your sister-in-law just has a special touch.

  4. Nancy says:

    I told Jo the other night that her snickerdoodle recipe was on the internet. She looked aghast – and curious. After explaining how/why, we got to talking about how her cookies are the bomb and mine are just, um, bombs. And I found out maybe, just maybe, why:

    She does not refrigerate the dough.

    She just dives straight into the baking. My bro (who also has the recipe and claims that his come out devine) also skips the cooling step.

    So there you have it. That might be the real trick to make them great!

  5. Alisa says:

    Are you serious? Not refrigerating makes all the difference? I’ll have to try.

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