image borrowed from simplestthings.com

baking lore tells us that snickerdoodles are an old-fashioned soft cookie–stuffed with butter and rolled in cinnamon-sugar. meant to be crispy on the outside and deliciously chewy on the inside, the snickerdoodle is close to one of the most perfect cookies around. and, i have to say, pretty easy to make. in the early days of my foray into baking, i disturbingly “fudged” every possible cookie there was. (not including fudge, which i have still not attempted to make.) burnt, too sweet, too salty, inedible, full of rancid almonds…there was literally no end to the way i could mess up cookies.

my mom shared my great-grandmother’s recipe for snickerdoodle cookies with me at some point. i had no idea what a snickerdoodle was. but the first time i made them, they came out perfectly, and were so uniform they looked almost store-bought (unlike the uneven mess that usually came out of the oven for me).

then, not-too-long-ago, i discovered cougar mountain cookies. these became one of my guilty pleasures, especially as i had discovered the lemon snickerdoodles on one of my speedy trips through a local grocery store to procure treats on the way to the outdoor cinema. what a lucky discovery! recently a colleague of mine was selling this cookie dough by the pound for her daughter’s school fundraiser. needless to say i bought it and baked it up. i took them to work and they were a big hit!

then i realized–why not make lemon snickerdoodles myself? i have a great recipe, just sub in lemon extract for vanilla, and voila! fully homemade lemon snickerdoodles! one lovely detail i’ve seen is to sprinkle poppy seeds on top. it’s like a breath of spring in this lovely season.

image borrowed from twopeasandtheirpod.com

makes 48 cookies

1 cup of shortening or margarine (or 1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup shortening)

1.5 cups of white sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons of lemon extract*

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

2.75 cups of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of baking soda

.25 teaspoon of salt

set aside some white sugar in a bowl (1/4 cup)*

1. preheat oven to 400 f
2. cream the shortening and 1.5 cups of sugar with a hand mixer or stand mixer. add egss and vanilla/lemon extract and mix again with mixer.
3. add in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt and mix until doughy.
4. roll dough into 1 inch or so balls.
5. roll dough in the sugar you set aside
6. place onto an ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
7. flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass.
8. bake 8-10 mins
9. remove immediately and let cool.

*note: for traditional snickerdoodle cookies, use vanilla instead of lemon extract, and mix cinnamon into the sugar set aside for rolling the dough in.