One of my favorite holiday traditions is baking cookies for my friends and their families. Every year in college, I would travel across the country (12 whole hours!) to come home for winter break. The day after arriving, I would push through my jet lag and wake up early to start baking a couple dozen batches of cookies.
Every year, I would choose at least three different types of cookies to include. This year, since I have the time to do so, I decided to try out a couple of options before the big holiday bake. There is one cookie, however, that I have always included in my cookie gift bags: snickerdoodles. My nana used to make these all the time, so they would always remind me of my favorite childhood memories.
Instead of making classic snickerdoodles, like I do every year, I wanted to try adding a little twist to this batch. And honestly… I might enjoy these more than the original! With a couple of tablespoons of instant coffee, these cookies are transformed. The coffee works perfectly with the cinnamon sugar coating, but they still have the same texture and softness as the original.
Some notes about this recipe:
- The taste of these cookies will depend on what kind of instant coffee you use. The instant coffee we have at home is extra strong, and so these had a little bitterness to them (which we actually liked!). You can add or decrease the amount of instant coffee depending on how strong you want it.
- Just like the original recipe, these snickerdoodles are really soft when they come out of the oven. Don’t worry if they don’t look done. They will start to set once they are out of the oven, which is why you should let them sit on the pan for a little bit. However, feel free to bake them slightly longer if you prefer.
- If you want to just make regular snickerdoodles, you can just omit the instant coffee.
- Got leftover dough? Just form the cookie dough balls, coat them in cinnamon sugar, and then freeze on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a Ziploc bag and keep in the freezer until you want to use them.
This recipe is so simple and so delicious, you’ll want to whip up a batch for you and your family this holiday season. Will these make it in this years holiday gift bags? We’ll have to see how the rest of the recipes turn out!
Enjoy these warm with a cup of milk or hot chocolate. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to a week.
For the cookie:
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp instant coffee
For the sugar coating:
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
- In a medium-large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, and eggs thoroughly.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients (flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, coffee and salt).
- Stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Mix until evenly combined.
- In a small bowl, prepare the coating by combining sugar and cinnamon.
- Roll your cookie dough into balls, slightly smaller than golf balls. Roll cookie dough into your cinnamon sugar mixture to coat evenly.
- Place 2" apart on your prepared baking sheets.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cookies will puff up in the oven and then flatten out over time.
- Sprinkle more cinnamon and sugar on top of each cookie. Leave on the pan for 10 minutes. Enjoy warm!