What I love about snickerdoodles: even if you're not a baker, and I am not, you always have all of the ingredients you need to bake these cookies right in your pantry. Cream of tartar might not be in constant rotation, but you know you have it somewhere in the rear of your spice rack, and even if it's almost ancient, like mine, it will give these cookies the bit of puff they need. The cardamom in this recipe lends the cookies a grown-up air, but kids will love them, too. We sprinkled ours with a pinch of extra cardamom after they came out of the oven. If you like your cookies sweeter, top the cookies before baking with demerara or another large-crystal sugar.
Cardamom-brown sugar snickerdoodles cookies
From the pantry, you'll need: all-purpose unbleached flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, ground cardamom, kosher salt, unsalted butter, light brown sugar, eggs, pure vanilla extract, granulated sugar.
This recipe, slightly adapted from Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One, makes 30 large cookies, enough to serve one person for a month. Needless to say, the cookies didn't last a month in my house!
2-3/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
2-1/2 tsp ground cardamom, divided
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 sticks (16 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar, for rolling
In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, 1-1/2 teaspoons of ground cardamom, and salt.
In the bowl of a Kitchen-Aid type stand mixer, combine butter and brown sugar, and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the eggs and vanilla, increase speed to high and beat until very light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Then, add the flour mixture, a bit at a time, beating on low to incorporate the ingredients.
Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a Silpat (silicone liner) or parchment paper, and set aside.
Stir together the granulated sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon of cardamom in a small mixing bowl. Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, scoop balls of dough into the sugar mixture, and coat. Roll the cookies between your palms to press sugar mixture into the dough, and arrange the cookies 2 inches apart on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake for 10-11 minutes, until tops of the cookies are crackled and the edges are just barely brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Cookies will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Persimmon cookies, from Pinch My Salt
Pistachio cardamom cookies, from Savory Simple
Italian pignoli (pine nut) cookies, from Food Blogga
Orange cardamom cookies, from The Full Plate
Chocolate dipped lime cardamom cookies, from Evil Shenanigans
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