I have tried three different recipes for Snickerdoodles, and while I have not yet found the ultimate recipe, my favorite so far is this one from James Beard's American Cookery. Beard tells us that this popular and classic cookie was originally called Schnecken Noodles, or in some regions Snipdoodles. The name morphed into Snickerdoodles in the lower Midwest states.
I call them irresistible.
1 cup soft butter
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk
3 cups sifted alll purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
In stand mixer, beat the butter until a little fluffy, then cream in the sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs and beat them until incorporated. Then mix in the milk.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour with the other dry ingredients.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until smooth but not over-mixing. The dough will be very soft.
Place a large sheet of waxed paper on your work surface, and create a long roll of dough. Using the paper, shape the dough into a roll, wrap and refrigerate for an hour or more. You will probably need two rolls for all the dough.
When it is time to bake, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small shallow dish, mix together the topping, which is the cinnamon-sugar combination.
Remove the dough from the fridge and cut it into small knobs of dough, then roll into a little ball with your hands. Roll the ball around the cinnamon-sugar until the surface is coated. Place on cookie sheets about two inches apart. The cookies will spread out as they cook.
Bake for ten to twelve minutes, or until the edges of the cookies begin to brown a little. Don't over bake. After a few minutes, gently transfer the cookies to a rack to cool.
Warning: The aroma of cinnamon cookies baking is a siren call to the kitchen that is powerful and seductive. Prepare for company.