Wednesday, December 11, 2013


This past weekend, Tim and I were really feeling the Christmas spirit! On Saturday, we went into San Francisco to check out the holiday displays at the Hyatt, Union Square, and Macy's (adorable kittens!) -- gorgeous sunny weather but cold enough that it really felt like winter.  And, on Sunday we had a blast at church making Advent crafts in the morning and then baking Christmas cookies in the afternoon.  Tim baked one of his family's favorites, snowballs. I don't think I've ever had them before, and they were amazing - pecan studded shortbread cookies, wrapped around Hershey's kisses and dusted with powdered sugar!  I will definitely be taking this recipe back to bake with my family when I go to visit them.

I opted for snickerdoodles, because they're one of my favorites and I hadn't had any in a while.  Martha Stewart's recipe was super simple but really delicious - soft, slightly chewy cookies with lots of cinnamon-sugar flavor coating the outsides.  The main change I made to the recipe was to make the cookies smaller, since then you can eat more than one!  These still make medium-sized cookies - you could use rounded teaspoons if you prefer even smaller cookies.  Definitely try to use a high-quality cinnamon if you can -- I used Vietnamese cinnamon from Penzey's and I think it really added something special.  What holiday cookies are you baking this year?  Let me know in the comments!

Snickerdoodles (adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies: The Very Best Treats to Bake and to Share)
Makes about 2-1/2 dozen

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups plus 3 T sugar
2 large eggs
1 T ground cinnamon (preferably Vietnamese cinnamon)

1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
2. Beat together the butter and 1-1/2 cups of the sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Reduce speed to low and gradually mix in the flour mixture.
3. Scrape the dough into a clean bowl, and chill about 30 minutes (longer is fine).
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment.
5. In a small dish, stir together the cinnamon and remaining 3 T sugar.  Scoop the dough by the heaping tablespoon, roll into balls, and then roll into the cinnamon-sugar, making sure each ball is generously coated.  Arrange on the baking sheets with plenty of space in between (I did 9 per insulated baking sheet).  Press down on each ball gently with the bottom of a measuring cup or glass, to a little thicker than 1/4-inch thick.
6. Bake 8-12 minutes, until the tops are dry -- keep a close eye after 8 minutes or so as the cookies will go from wet on top to burned on the bottom pretty quickly.  Let cool on wire racks.

I'm sending these cookies to the Secret Recipe Club Holiday Party Link-Up! 


  1. Yep, snickerdoodles are my favorite cookies to make - my step-son and Aunt LOVE anything cinnamon!

    Love that last picture!!

  2. You know the vietnamese cinnamon is one of the better cinnamons.
    I tried the cinnamon from Trader Joe's and it was bitter-like, almost burnt tasting.
    So now I know why the pricey vietnamese cinnamon tastes better than all others. It's kind of worth it. And you don't use as much!

    1. So true! I will use the cheaper stuff if I'm making something with a lot of flavors going on or where it's cooked in a stew for a long period, but for these cookies you can definitely taste (and smell!) the difference!

  3. I love snickerdoodles and this is one of my favorite recipes. I love adding cinnamon chips too!