There is a time for large-batch, super-shareable baking, and then there is the time for a cookie for one (or two, if you’re feeling generous) that can be measured in tablespoons instead of cups, mixed with a fork, and baked to crisp-chewy perfection all in the span of 25 minutes.
Mid-January is that time. I’m still not fully over the holiday food, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to skip dessert. And not some “healthy” dessert either, because I am firmly in the camp that believes a cookie should be…a cookie.I started making these One Big Cookies about a year ago; you can find the chocolate chip and chocolate M&Ms versions in the archives. Those recipes are great, but find me someone who can resist the allure of this giant Snickerdoodle with its craggy top and cinnamon-sugar edges.This is a cookie designed to be made on the fly. Yes, you’ll need baking basics (sugar, butter, flour), but you likely have all of them and even if you don’t, swaps can be made in the moment. Trust me. I did nine test rounds of this recipe, so I know all the ins and outs.
• Don’t have light brown sugar? Just swap it for granulated. Your cookie will be paler and slightly crisper, but it’s not a bad thing.
• If you want to make this cookie vegan, exchange the butter for an equal volume of a plant-based substitute. That’s it! All of my One Big Cookies are egg-free as water does the job just fine in small amounts, so veganizing really is that simple.
• Snickerdoodles are traditionally leavened with a mix of cream of tartar (an acid) and baking soda (a base). Now, I always have a tiny jar of cream of tartar in my arsenal, but I understand that I’m unusual in that regard. If you don’t have this leavening agent around, this is one special case where you can use baking powder instead. This swap almost never works otherwise, so please don’t make a habit of it, but these One Big Cookie recipes are surprisingly resilient.
• If you don’t press the dough down with the heel of your hand, nothing terrible will happen. This is purely for aesthetics, as it seems to mitigate having a giant crack in the middle.
• Yes, you can split the dough in half and make two cookies. I’m not sure on the exact bake time, but I’d start checking around 9 minutes.As you can see, adaptability is the name of the game! It’s such a rarity in baking, but this Snickerdoodle allows for it in spades. Who doesn’t need that sort of cinnamon-sugar-coated positivity in their life?
Have a great weekend, y’all!
One Big Snickerdoodle
makes 1 large cookie
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons (4 1/2 teaspoons) granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon (1 1/2 teaspoons) light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon water (not cold)
1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar*
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.
Make the dough. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together melted butter, granulated and light brown sugars. Mix in water and vanilla. Add flour, cinnamon, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt, and whisk until a dough forms; a silicone spatula may be helpful here.
Make the coating. In a small bowl, use a fork to mix together granulated sugar and cinnamon.
Use your hands to form dough into a ball. Carefully roll ball in cinnamon-sugar coating so that all sides are covered. Place on parchment and use the heel of your hand to press down gently, just so that the dough is more of a disk and less of a ball.
Bake for 13-14 minutes or until the top is craggy and appears just slightly underdone.
Let cookie cool on the pan for 5-7 minutes before using a spatula to remove it to a plate. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
An equal volume of baking powder will work in place of cream of tartar. I do not recommend swapping cream of tartar and baking powder in any other recipes.