Friday, June 1, 2012

Snickerdoodle Cookies - No Cream of Tartar

Snickerdoodles are a cookie I was always attracted to as a teenager.  I'd bake them over and over again.  The name was fun to say and I always thought they should be a tasty vanilla flavoured cookie.

And they were for the first couple of bites.  But then the after taste of the cream of tartar would kick in leaving me with an nasty sour taste at the back of my throat.

I'd go for awhile without making them and then hope would spring eternal and I'd try again, only to be disappointed...again.

I hadn't made them for years but was looking for something different to make for my husband for lunches and snacks.  He's a crunchie cookie kind of guy and is quite fond of the vanilla flavour.  I thought snickerdoodles fit the bill, but the nasty aftertaste still lingered in my memory.

I decided to do some research into whether cream of tartar was an essential ingredient in the snickerdoodle recipe.  According to what I read on the internet (and we all know everything we read there is true) cream of tartar is an acid salt produced as a by product in the sediment of the wine making process. 

It has a fancy scientific name and a chemical formula which I won't bore you with but apparently I could have found some at the bottom of my carboy when I was bottling wine a few years ago.

Because it's an acid it reacts with baking soda to cause the leavening effect you expect to get when you put baking soda into a recipe.  And here's the good news...baking powder already has a component of cream of tartar in it, but without the nasty acidic taste.

So I decided to see if it's possible to make Snickerdoodles with baking powder instead of baking soda and eliminate the after taste.  For those enquiring minds who want to know the answer is yes and here's the recipe I've been using.


2 ½ cups flour
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 ½ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs - beat well.  Add vanilla and mix.

Add flour, salt, and baking powder and mix until you have a soft dough.

In a separate bowl mix the 2 tbsp. sugar with 1 tbsp. cinnamon.  Pinch off small amounts of dough and roll into balls about 1" in diameter.  Dip in sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Bake at 375 F for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges begin to brown.

HINT:  If you find the dough is sticking to your hands, rub your hands with flour before you start rolling the dough into balls.

There you have it all the information you ever wanted to know (and some you didn't)
about cream of tartar! 
Enjoy the snickerdoodles!


Carol Henders said...

I forgot to mention you should press each cookie down with a fork before you bake them. Sorry about the oversight. They should still bake but won't be as flat and crispy.

swissmiss77 said...

Thank you! I live in Hungary and Cream of Tartar is nowhere to be found here. So this helps me quite a lot.

Carol Henders said...

You're welcome. I spent a year in Sweden and I know how frustrating it can be trying to find the right ingredients for a recipe. Glad to help.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a cream of Tartar free recipe!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for recipe. I tried it this evening and the cookies turned out perfect! Again thanks for sharing

Carol Henders said...

You're welcome. Glad you enjoyed the cookies.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to start a tradition of baking with my twin grand daughters, aged six and after looking at all the recipes I chose this one....its a fun name and no cream of tartar.

Carol Henders said...

That's fantastic, thank you for sharing your activities with your grand daughters. I remember helping my mother bake when I was little. That's how I learned.
It's a tradition I'm happy to carry on. I hope your grand daughters enjoy making the cookies as much as eating them!

Anonymous said...

i dont like crispy i like soft so how can I make them soft?

Jbrezzell said...

Just made them and let me just say.......thanks! I have been looking for a snickerdoddle recipe without creme of tarter for a long time and they it coudn't be done. Just made them and they are delicious and somehow soft. So book marking this page!!!!

Carol Henders said...

Glad they turned out for you. I've never been able to get them soft myself, but glad you managed it. Did you undercook them a little? Sometimes that helps to keep cookies soft and chewy in the centre.