Oct 28th

Besides teaching cooking I taught a class called Child Development (we ran a preschool lab). During my lesson demo every September I’d read “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” and we’d do a few related lessons. The early math lesson was a cookie graph to poll the class’s favorite cookie. Not surprisingly, chocolate chip hailed supreme, but every single year the humble snickerdoodle gave it a run for it’s money. Honestly I never understood what all the fuss was about – that is, until I made this recipe.

This was a school recipe that has been on my blog from the beginning but was in desperate need of a makeover. Because each day I’d have at least 3 different cooking classes (with 5 kitchens each, so 15 batches of each recipe) I knew that I couldn’t open the door to tasting. In their constant need for validation my students would beseech me to try theirs – usually I’d say “later!” and give it away once they were gone. Maybe you think this is crazy but for me it was a flood gates situation – in those days moderation wasn’t my motto and I knew if I ate one cookie, I could easily eat 15. Im droning on in my efforts to tell you I never ate one of these snickerdoodles, but I knew it was a class favorite every year.

The batter was easy to make (so easy a high school student could do it) and fairly straightforward. Typically I HATE the use of shortening in baked goods (used for enhanced texture but sorely lacking in flavor), but these cookies are velvety soft and plump with chewy edges and a melt-in-your-mouth flavor. I called my husband on my way home from work yesterday and asked him how the soup was that I left for him. He says, “the soup was great but I ate 15 of those cookies you left on the counter”. He wasn’t kidding, half the bag was empty when I got home. They are SO GOOD. Oh and shortening – IS NOT LARD (this is what every middle/high school student thinks). It’s vegetable oil that’s been made into a solid, though magically is now made free of trans-fats. Is it a “whole food”? No, but neither are Sun Chips. Now that “everything in moderation” has found a happy home in my diet I enjoyed a cookie or two and was so happy that I’d held on to this recipe.


Makes 36

2 2/3 c. all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp.  cream of tartar

1 stick unsalted butter,  room temperature

1/2  c. shortening

1 1/2 c. granulated sugar

2  eggs

1  tsp. vanilla extract


1/2 c. sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Whisk the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl.

3.Cream the butter, shortening and sugar (cream means to beat with electric mixer until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes).

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla. 

5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Do not over mix.

6. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes or up to several days.


7. Shape chilled dough into balls, roll in coating, and place 2 inches apart on parchment lined cookie sheet. If you don’t have parchment place cookies on ungreased cookie sheets. 


7. Stagger and switch – one sheet in top left, the other in bottom right. Switch sheets half way through baking time. Bake cookies for 10 minutes. Cookies should be golden around the edges. 


8. Cool on wire rack.


These would keep for 3 or 4 days tightly sealed at room temp.

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