Sourdough snickerdoodle cookies are buttery and soft with crispy edges. They have a slight tang from the cream of tartar with a hint of vanilla and lots of cinnamon. This slight tang makes them a perfect way to use up some sourdough discard.
TIP: Keep a glass jar in your refrigerator to store your sourdough discard. Continue adding to it until you have enough to make a sourdough discard recipe.
What makes perfect snickerdoodle cookies?
My perfect sourdough snickerdoodle cookies are soft and chewy with a slightly crispy edge. It has that signature snickerdoodle tang and is rolled in lots of cinnamon and sugar.
Underbaking your snickerdoodles slightly guarantees soft, buttery cookies. I’ve found that the perfect baking time for my oven is 11 minutes. But oven temperatures vary so you will want to watch your cookies closely. For a crispier cookie, bake them for slightly longer (about 2-3 minutes more).
Why is there cream of tartar in snickerdoodle cookie recipes?
Cream of tartar or tartaric acid is a by-product of winemaking. When combined with baking soda it helps the snickerdoodles to rise and gives them their signature tangy flavor.
What is the difference between a sugar cookie and a snickerdoodle?
While the recipes are very similar, there are two main difference between a sugar cookie and a snickerdoodle. Snickerdoodles use cream of tartar which gives them their signature tang. They are also rolled in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar before baking. Sugar cookies don’t contain cream of tartar and aren’t rolled in cinnamon and sugar.
Creating a sourdough cookie
Because snickerdoodles already have a slight tang I thought they would be a perfect way to use some of my sourdough discard and turn them into a sourdough cookie. Sourdough discard is 50% water. Therefore, we need to reduce the amount of water in our cookies.
Egg whites are 90% water. By eliminating them we are eliminating 40 grams of water.
Butter is 18% water. Browning the butter will cause the water to evaporate reducing the amount of water by 30 grams.
How to brown butter
Slice the butter into pieces and melt it in a light-colored skillet over medium heat stirring or whisking constantly. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Continue stirring/whisking for about 5-7 minutes, the butter will become a deep amber color. Remove the browned butter from the heat, and pour it into a bowl. Allow the butter to cool for 30 minutes.
Sourdough snickerdoodle cookie recipe
- Slice the butter into pieces and melt it in a light-colored skillet over medium heat stirring or whisking constantly. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Continue stirring/whisking for about 5-7 minutes, the butter will become a deep amber color. Remove the browned butter from the heat, and pour it into a bowl. Allow the butter to cool for 30 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl add the browned butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Whisk until there are no lumps of brown sugar. Add the egg yolks and vanilla. Whisk together until smooth. Fold in the sourdough discard.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Wrap the dough in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheight. In a small bowl stir together the ingredients for the cinnamon-sugar coating.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Using two tablespoons of dough each roll into tall oblong balls. Roll the dough balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture coating thoroughly.
- Place nine dough balls on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes for soft cookies or 15 minutes for crunchier cookies. Allow the cookies to cool for about 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Baking Tip: My mom’s trick for evenly baked cookies is to rotate the cookies while they bake. Place the first baking sheet of cookies on the lower rack of the oven and bake until they begin to spread out (usually the same amount of time it takes me to divvy out the dough on to the second baking sheet.) Move the first baking sheet of cookies to the top rack and rotate 180-degrees to finish baking and place the second baking sheet of cookies on the bottom rack. Continue this process until all of the cookies have been baked.
- Allow the melted butter to cool slightly so that it doesn’t melt the sugar. Mixing the butter in when it is too hot can cause the snickerdoodles to become greasy.
- Use room temperature eggs and sourdough discard. Chilled eggs or sourdough discard may cause some of the butter to resolidify prematurely. To quickly bring the eggs to room temperature, place them in a bowl of warm water for 10-15 minutes.
- You must chill the dough for at least 2-3 hours before baking. Because we browned the butter the fats need to re-solidify. Chilling also allows the sugar to absorb more liquid further solidifying the dough. If the dough is baked without chilling it first, the cookies will spread while baking and become thin, hard, and crispy.
- Roll the dough into tall oblong balls. This shape will help make sure the cookie is soft in the middle and crispy on the edges.
- Allow the cookies to cool for 15 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. These snickerdoodles are so soft and gooey they may fall apart if you try to move them too soon.
Make-ahead and freezing instructions
Make-Ahead: You can mix up the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Storing: Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Freezing Cookie Dough: Unbaked cookie dough balls can be frozen for up to 3 months.
After rolling the dough into balls place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once frozen, remove from the baking sheet and place in a zip-top bag. Label with the date and contents.
When you are ready to bake, remove the balls from the freezer, let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, pre-heat the oven, and then roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Freezing Baked Cookies: Baked cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Once the cookies have cooled completely, place them on a sheet pan and freeze until solid. Transfer the frozen cookies to an airtight container or zip-top bag. Label with the date and contents.
Thaw frozen cookies overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter.
Looking for more sourdough discard recipes? Check out these posts.
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