Sneaky Doodles

I know I promised truffles, but this little gem has been making me laugh and mmmmm for a few days now so I couldn’t resist. I’m so fickle – the truffle has been finished for no time at all and already I’m moving on to bigger and better. Or bigger and… I don’t know the right adjective, help me decide at the end?

It all started when manfriend received one of those ‘recipe a day’ type emails from one of the myriad he subscribes to but never reads. Obviously this one he did because I heard him giggle quietly from behind his computer. One word: Snickerdoodles.

I am innately attracted to anything with a name that is fun to say – snickerdoodles, pfeffernusse, baba ganoush, scrumpets – so I desperately wanted to make some just for the chance to yell “snickerdoodle” at any given moment.

Before the great snickerdoodle event of 2010, I admittedly didn’t know what these sweets actually were. The name suggested to me something like a Mars bar slice, but based instead on Snickers. I was interested to find out that they’re essentially a variation on a simple sugar cookie, but spiced with a good whack of cinnamon.

Now for the historical part (if something called a snickerdoodle can legitimately have a history): snickerdoodles (also know as cinnamon sugar cookies, or snipdoodles – which conjures up something slightly less pleasant than the common name) have actually been around since the late 1800s – there I just proved myself wrong within one sentence. They’re thought to be of German or Dutch decent, and my reliable source (thank you Wikipedia) believes that the name is in fact a bastardisation of the German Schneckennudeln, which apparently means “snail noodles”. See, these things are ridiculously entertaining. It is also suggested that the name is in fact a creation of total whimsy in the New England tradition of fanciful cookie names. Note to self: research New England fanciful cookie names. The original recipe calls for cream of tartar as the leavening agent, though modern recipes (and my recipe) use baking powder to similar effect.

So simple to make, but surprisingly delicious. Every time I walk through the kitchen I’m vulnerable to a snickerdoodle attack and invariably come back to my computer munching on one, usually having forgotten whatever it was I went into the kitchen to do.

Having these around has led to a myriad of different permutations of the name, my favourite of course being ‘sneaky doodles’ which again has led to some jokes that I won’t repeat here at this time.

These little cookies won’t blow your mind with awesomeness but they’re certainly worth baking just for the excuse to say snickerdoodle.


Sadly not my picture - we ate them all before I could take one.


Makes about 24

115 g butter

150 g caster sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

180 g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

35 g white sugar (don’t use caster sugar – you want that slight crunch from the sugar granules)

1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Cream together butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and beat thoroughly. Gradually add the sifted flour, baking powder and salt and combine completely.

Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Roll balls of the cookie dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place on a tray lined with baking paper.

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes then allow to cool on a wire rack.

Beware of snickerdoodle attacks!


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