These Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies are (aside from from a chocolate chip cookie) my all time favorite! They’re moist, chewy, and coated in cinnamon sugar that makes them so yummy and comforting!
A snickerdoodle has to be soft and chewy in my opinion. That, plus the cinnamon sugar topping is what makes these cookies so amazing! My kids are not huge chocolate fans so if I’m making cookies for the whole family, these are what I make!
Do you have to use cream of tartar for a snickerdoodle?
My short answer: yes. While you can certainly find snickerdoodle recipes that do not use cream of tartar, it’s what makes a snickerdoodle, well, a snickerdoodle! It adds a certain tanginess that separates snickerdoodles from regular cinnamon sugar cookies. The cream of tartar also acts as a leavening agent in the cookies. Without it, the sugar will crystalize and spread making it a more crunchy cookie instead of a chewy cookie. It’s all very scientific and I won’t pretend to understand it all; I just know it makes a better cookie!
How to make chewy snickerdoodle cookies:
The first step is to mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately then combine. It may seem like a lot of dry compared to the wet ingredients but that balance is what allows the cookies to keep their shape and not completely flatten when baking.
If you can see in the last photo, it’s a very thick batter. And you might think it’s almost too crumbly. But that’s ok! You’re on the right path!
The next step is to form the dough into balls about the size of a golfball. It doesn’t have to be exact but just press the dough together in your palms then gently roll into a ball. Then the dough balls get rolled in the cinnamon sugar mixture. (The best part!)
After rolling all the dough and dipping the cookies, you can lay them on the baking sheet at least 2 inches apart. I like to line mine with parchment paper. You could also use the silicon baking mats (I just hate having another thing to clean).
They will spread out in the oven a little but they will stay nice and chewy! Perfect for enjoying with a nice glass of milk or your afternoon coffee!
Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup softened, unsalted butter
- 1 and 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt to a bowl and whisk together to combine.
- In a large bowl, add the softened butter and sugar. Beat with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. (About 2 minutes) You can also do this in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment if you have one.
- Add the egg, milk, and vanilla to the butter mixture and whisk again to combine.
- Using a rubber spatula, add the dry mixture to the wet mixture in a few batches mixing in-between each addition. (If you're using a stand mixer, switch to the paddle attachment for this part) The dough will be very thick. Make sure you scrape up all the flour from the bottom of the bowl and incorporate it.
- To make the topping, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.
- Take the dough and scoop out about 1.5 to 2 tablespoons. Press it together gently in your hands and roll into a ball. Place the ball in the cinnamon/sugar mixture and roll around to coat.
- Place each dough ball on the prepared cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 11-12 minutes then remove from the oven and let cool on the cookie sheet before enjoying.
- Store in an air-tight container for up to 5 days (if they last that long!)