This is a deceptively simple sugar cookie recipe. The ingredients are quite basic—butter, sugar, cinnamon—but the result is more than a sum of its parts; these cookies come together just perfectly in terms of balancing ease of preparation, common ingredients, crunch, and flavor. They are so simple, I didn’t think my kids would like them, but then one twin determined them to be his favorite cookie in the book.
These hail from New England, with versions dating from the mid-to late 1800s. The name’s origin, however, is a bit more elusive. Some food historians say it is just a made-up nonsense word that seems to appeal to kids and adults alike.
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
Recipe CourseDessert, Snack
Dietary ConsiderationHalal, Kosher, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Vegetarian
Taste and TextureButtery, Chewy, Sweet
Type of DishCookie
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Whisk flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add about one-third of flour mixture and mix on low speed. Gradually add remaining flour, mixing just until blended. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to roll into balls, at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
To make topping, combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls between your palms, then roll in cinnamon sugar to coat. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets; gently flatten just enough so they don’t roll off. Bake just until light golden brown around edges, about 12 minutes. Slide parchment onto racks to cool cookies completely.
Lifespan: 2 weeks at room temperature in airtight container.
2003 Dede Wilson