Smitten Kitchen’s Snickerdoodles (and an anniversary giveaway)

There’s a lot to celebrate today if you are looking for that kind of thing. We sprung forward and practically everyone is cheering, especially since we’ve been greeted by a super gorgeous day. (I’m not. I mourn my lost hour of sleep but I’m odd that way.) We also celebrated Pi Day, a fact that I’m beginning to be more cognizant of in recent years than I was before. Not surprising, since it was born in San Francisco. In the light of changing seasons, I’ve been thinking about several things; from new flowers (aren’t they gorgeous?!) to bar stools (I’ve got to stop shovelling down breakfast standing at the kitchen counter). So preoccupied have I been that it almost passed me by. It would have been awful if I’d missed it. Really it would. For today, you see, is my first blogversary!

To say it took me by surprise is an understatement. I’m in a slight state of shock. Consistency is a great virtue, but not really one of mine. Truth is, with all the balls being juggled in the game I call my life, this was the one that I was fully expecting to drop. I didn’t though. I’ve managed to add it to all the other fragile ones that I was already tossing around and work it into the routine. It has added an element of fun to the pattern. I had thought the best part of it would have been the writing and the cooking, which have been wonderful experiences, with ebbs and flows as all creative processes are. But no, the best part most certainly has been the wonderful people that I’ve met through the process, virtually though that may be. I’ve gotten acquainted with some fantastic new people and gotten to know old friends even better in this past year. The readers of this blog give it dynamism and purpose. So today, one year after I tiptoed quietly onto the information superhighway, sending out a fervent prayer, I get to say that I’m having a blast continuing on this fabulous journey. Thanks for watching out for me, and making sure I didn’t get run over. You guys are the best! And as thanks, I bring you two things today. One of them is this fabulous recipe for snickerdoodles.

Snickerdoodles are cookies rolled in sugar and cinnamon. (Amey and I have fallen in love with the name. We’re going to call our future dog that. He’s going to be a brown retriever that we get to know someday.) On the face of it, this is a recipe for basic cookies. The cinnamon makes all the difference. There were pretty brown and white puffs of dust all around my kitchen created from sieving together sugar and cinnamon near a breezy open window. I got carried away with the swirling colours initially. Let me say that there is such a thing as too much cinnamon. It can tinge sugar with a bitter after-taste, something you want nowhere near a cookie. I tossed it away and made a fresh batch, watching the proportions this time and it was much better. I also tucked some cinnamon into the dough. Aromas of caramel and spice waft freely through your home as these bake in your oven.

It’s like that feeling you get when you’ve discovered something precious and undeniable, a thing that you can assign no monetary value to, but you know would be a freakin’ steal if you could. That is what is what this recipe is like. I say this despite having documented in excruciating detail, my past trysts and feelings on the subject of biscuits/cookies. The gains derived from it far outweighed any of the troubles I had putting it together. Which, by the way, weren’t troublesome at all. They weren’t even minor annoyances. Not with the recipe anyway. The troubles stemmed from my tiny kitchen. No, the recipe itself works like a charm and is fantastic in these days where the weather can’t quite make up its mind as to whether it wants us to freeze or swelter. When it is in one of its frigid moods, I can think of few things better then curling up in a warm seat with a glass of steaming milk and a plate of these cookies.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Can’t tell you exactly how many these made because Amey ate several quickly without keeping count, but they were in the ballpark of 30 to 40.

All-purpose flour – 2 1/2 cups
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Baking powder – a pinch
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Unsalted butter – 8 oz (2 sticks), room temperature
Sugar – 1 1/2 cups for dough + 3 tbsp for rolling
Lemon juice – 3 tsp
Ground cinnamon – 1 tsp for dough + 1 1/2 tbsp for rolling
Eggs – 2

– Preheat the oven to 400Β°F.
– Mix the dry ingredients by sifting together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon (dough portion) and salt.
– In a separate bowl (or stand mixer bowl if using one), combine the butter and the sugar. Knead (or beat) lightly until incorporated into a fluffy mixture.
– Add eggs and beat to combine if using an electric mixer. Use a spatula to combine lightly before switching back to kneading by hand, if not using a mixer. Add lemon juice.
– Add dry ingredients in and beat further or knead by hand to incorporate. Work quickly to shape into a cohesive dough. At this stage, if dough is too soft, place in the fridge to firm up a bit.
– Combine the sugar and cinnamon reserved for rolling into a shallow bowl. Using a small scoop, dollop out rounds of cookie dough onto the mixture. Roll in the mixture and place on a cookie sheet lined with silicone mat or parchment paper. Leave a couple of inches between the rounds.
– Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes then take out of the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool for a few minutes, before serving.

Cook’s notes:
This is an easy dough with flour, sugar and butter at its essence. If the butter is soft enough, it comes together fairly quick. It called for the use of a stand mixer which I do not have so I kneaded it by hand. Dangerous, since after it consolidated in a cohesive dough I had to fight the urge to lick my fingers clean. This cookie dough may be even more delicious than the cookies. It is very hard to resist, just like the cookies. You’ve been warned.

I did not have any cream of tartar so I looked up substitutions on the internet. Opinions were divided on what works at what time. So I used lemon juice and threw in some baking powder for good measure. I don’t know if this will always do but in this case it turned out quite well though not quite exactly as Deb’s of SK. Her cookies cracked on the surface and didn’t brown too much. Mine didn’t crack and browned to almost charred at the edges. But Deb probably has a way more magnificent oven than mine. I’m just happy my oven still bakes. My cookie also had a bit of a snap to them, but they were delish nonetheless. I experimented with a couple of sizes. The big ones took about ten minutes. The smaller ones were done much faster.

I baked these as a first anniversary treat to share with you guys, but since I can’t send each one of you these in reality, I have something else for you. This second thing is much more tangible, w-ell at least for one of you lucky readers. Thanks to the good folks at CSN, I present to you my very first giveaway! One of you gets to win this lovely cobalt blue stoneware set. I don’t necessarily subscribe to celebrity name cookware but I love the shape and versatility of these, in the fact that they go pretty easy from oven to table, or can be used to prep. Plus I think the colour is gorgeous!

To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment here on this post. It can be about the post, the blog, these dishes, whatever you like. (No Rachel Ray hate please. Let’s keep it civil.) The comment can be anonymous but you need to leave me a valid email address (only visible to me) so I can get in touch with you if you win. One comment will be counted per person. If you’d like to have another chance at it, become a fan on Facebook. If you’re already a fan, you can leave me a comment on the link to this post there and it will count as your second entry. The contest is open to residents of the US and Canada as this is the jurisdiction of operation of Entries to the giveaway will close on Sunday, March 21st at 11.59 pm PST. A winner will be drawn at random by an unfeeling random digital number generator so as to dispel any talk of nepotism. I will announce the winner here the next day.

It’s nice to hand out presents on your birthday. Cheeky Chilli (the blog and the person behind the blog) is ridiculously excited about this. Hope you are too!

* Thanks for all your comments, here and on Facebook. Numbers were assigned to all comments and FB fans and fed into a number generator. The purely logic driven digital number generator has spoken and the winner is No. 8! Congratulations Jaseena! I’ll be contacting you via email shortly.*


  1. Joy

    1. Congratulations, CheekyChilli!

    May we see much more of all the good stuff in the coming year. πŸ™‚

  2. habubabu

    2. Congratulations on your anniversary! May you celebrate for many many years to come.

    I discovered you through the biriyani article – yum!

    Re: Snickerdoodle as a name. My dear friend’s golden retriever is named Snickerdoodle McFurry or Snicky-Wicky for short.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. 52 Hikes

    3. Congratulations Sharmila! This is a great blog and I’ve enjoyed it a lot. Love your writing, the stories, recipes and the photography. Can’t wait for the book(s) and restaurant(s) either. πŸ™‚



  4. mr sams

    4. wooooowzwer… those cookies look sooo great… i think i’m gonna have to try my hand at them this week…=D

  5. Abie

    6. Wow! Those dishes look awesome!

    Also, how excited was I to come looking for your recipe and find out you have a giveaway going. I hope I win! Hehe ^_^

  6. Jaseena

    8. Congratulations on Cheeky Chilli’s first birthday. I read your blog regularly, as much for the recipes as for your delightful writing style and amazing pics! Though it was the chance of the giveaway that finally enticed me to comment. πŸ™‚

    Try to post more often. Your blog is a delight to read.

  7. fattydumpling

    9. I’ve never tried snickerdoodles before but your pictures is encouraging me to try them out—looks gorgeously delicious. I just found your blog because of your snickerdoodles ;p

  8. Sharmila

    Joy – Thank you! Fans like you got me this far.
    Habubabu – Thank you. Snicky-Wicky..I like that. Super cute!
    52 Hikes – Thanks so much! Your encouragement is awesome. Book deals, restaurants…as they say back home…apke moo mein ghee shakkar πŸ™‚
    Mr Sams – Let me know how yours turn out if you do!
    Jonnie – Thank you!
    Abie – Good luck to ya!
    Jessica – Thanks. It’s a pretty colour, isn’t it?
    Jaseena – I’m happy to meet you, thanks to your comment for any reason πŸ™‚ Glad you like the blog, and thank you! I hope I will be able to post more often in the future.
    fattydumpling – They are super yum. Also so simple. Try them and you won’t be disappointed πŸ™‚

  9. Pooja Agshikar

    10. Congratulations! This definitely calls for a celebration πŸ™‚
    As a food lover and a person who has been trying to establish her blog for the longest time ever, I feel your joy! I won’t say I follow the blog on a regular basis but when I do, I see similar tastes and similar “things we look out for” when we cook or go to a restaurant. It is always an enjoyable read!
    Some recipes that leave a mark are Afghani Baingan (Love it every time I make it!!!) and Roasted Red Pepper soup with crumbled blue cheese (I enjoy the combination)
    Cheers again…will celebrate your success on this side of coast too!

  10. Sudha

    12. Congratulations Sharmila! I admire your perseverance at keeping at it and making it to your first anniversary. Wonderful writing, mouthwatering recipes and great photographs. Keep them coming!

  11. Tanya

    14. Happy Anniversary! Those cookies look great. I haven’t tasted snickerdoodles before. I think I will follow your tips and try making these.

  12. Ashley

    15. Snicker Doodles are my dad’s favorite cookies. I’ll have to share this recipe with him. I’m a fan on facebook too πŸ™‚ Thanks for the giveaway!

  13. Mona

    16. Congratulations Sharmila! Your blog is always a delight to go through. Keep it up!
    And you know what? I liked the name too, Snickerdoodles πŸ™‚ very catchy!

  14. Priti

    18. Hey ! Congratulations to both of you. I drop by from time to time. πŸ™‚
    One thing that is a suspense to me. You cook so much and you guys eat out so much ! where does all this food go? πŸ™‚
    I do wish you lived close to me. It would have been fun to cook/bake something together.

    • Sharmila

      Sudha – You’ve been such an enthusiastic supporter!
      Anu – Amey ate the lot I saved for home and you. That’s why my nephew has no cookies πŸ™
      giniann – what a lovely blessing for this blog!
      Tanya, Ashley – Give β€˜em a try. You won’t be disappointed!
      Mona – You’ve been such an awesome cheerer-on since the beginning!
      Pooja, Radhika and all of the above – Thank you!
      Priti – Hey, thanks for the wishes and for stopping by again. No suspense, you just have to work at it till you get quantities right. I’ve gotten it to work for most things except baking πŸ™‚ Working on that. LA isn’t all that far away. Perhaps I’ll see ya soon:)

  15. Jigna

    19. Congratulations to you on your first anniversary!

    I have been reading the blog since day one and really enjoy reading it…the writing is wonderful and has made me laugh with people on BART wondering why? :)The cooking is just as wonderful and I am
    glad I got to try some of the recipes!

    Amey’s photography and artwork is a great compliment to the writing!

    I wish I could have tried some cookies and I love that name for your future dog!