Grandma Cay’s recipe book contains a host of recipes, and it begins with twenty-some pages of cookie recipes. This makes sense since Grandma had a sweet tooth, which got passed down to me!
Her recipe for Schnitzer Doodles, which are more commonly known as snickerdoodles, is a classic. Note how the cookies come before the salads in the recipe book!
Her recipe calls for lard, which I changed to butter. The dough gets a slightly tangy flavor from the cream of tartar, and then balls of dough get rolled in a cinnamon sugar mixture. The end result is a soft cookie with a crisp bottom, its tanginess tamed by sweetness and a roll in the cinnamon sugar. They aren’t overly packed with cinnamon—you can just taste a hint of it.
I tried rolling some of the cookies in a mixture of cinnamon and turbinado sugar instead of granulated sugar. The end result was a cookie with a crunchier exterior thanks to the larger sugar crystals, but I don’t think they turned out quite as nice looking.
The key for this recipe (or any cookie recipe really) is to use silicone baking mats. The cookies lift right off so you don’t have to worry about broken cookies or scrubbing a baking sheet.
Grandma mentioned that you could add colored sugar or decoration in the recipe. I’ll be trying that next time!
Grandma's Schnitzer Doodles (Snickerdoodles)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2¾ cup flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and 1½ cups granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Add ⅓ of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low until incorporated. Add another ⅓ of the flour mixture and repeat. Add the final ⅓ of the final mixture and beat just until incorporated.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour (or overnight) in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and the cinnamon. Stir to combine.
- Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball of dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet fitted with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Bake for 10–14 minutes, or until the cookies no longer look raw in the middle. Let cool and serve.
Here are a few other cookies from Grandma’s recipe book, plus a few from my mom’s mom, Grandma Verie, as well!