Pan-Banging Snickerdoodles

Recipe development by Sarah Kieffer

“I didn’t realize how many people loved snickerdoodles until I posted a teaser picture on Instagram of these cookies,” says cookie connoisseur Sarah Kieffer. “My comments and inbox were filled with people begging for the recipe. I was sorry to keep it from everyone for almost two years, but the cookies are finally here, and I’m excited to share the recipe with you. I am certain they are worth the wait.” Read more about Sarah and get an exclusive look at her new cookbook, 100 Cookies, in our September/October 2020 issue!

Pan-Banging Snickerdoodles
Makes 12 cookies
  • 2 cups (284 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon (2.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) cream of tartar
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1¾ cups (350 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon (6 grams) ground cinnamon
  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line three sheet pans with aluminum foil, dull-side up.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cream of tartar, and nutmeg.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add 1½ cups (300 grams) of the sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on low speed to combine. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ¼ cup (50 grams) of sugar and the cinnamon.
  5. Form the dough into 3-ounce [85-gram] balls (¼ cup). Roll each ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place 3 or 4 cookies an equal distance apart on the sheet pans. Bake the cookies one pan at a time. Bake until the dough balls have flattened but are puffed slightly in the center, 8 minutes. Lift one side of the sheet pan up about 4 inches (10 centimeters) and gently let it drop down against the oven rack, so the edges of the cookies set and the center falls back down. After the cookies puff up again in 2 minutes, repeat lifting and dropping the pan. Repeat a few more times to create ridges around the edge of the cookie. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes total, until the cookies have spread out and the edges are golden brown but the centers are much lighter and not fully cooked.
  6. Transfer the pan to a wire rack. Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes, then move them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days (or refrigerate for up to 3 days).
PAN-BANGING PRO TIPS – Some wisdom from Sarah Kieffer on the art of (pan) slam dunk cookies:

Cookie dough can be refrigerated overnight before using. Shape the dough into balls, and cover with plastic wrap before refrigerating; bring the dough balls to room temperature before baking. (When the cookies are chilled solid, they won’t ripple as well.)

These cookies are delicious warm, but I’ve found I love them chilled even more. I usually store them in the refrigerator for a day or two and sneak pieces of them cold.
I find that foil helps the cookies spread a bit more and creates a slightly crisper bottom, but parchment paper will work well, too.



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