Chef Jill Garcia Schmidt, Lead Instructor at The Culinary Center of Kansas City, loves to cook and bake (duh, she’s a chef, of course she does!) But while her culinary repertoire is vast and she cooks a WIDE range of foods, there are a few recipes that are near and dear to her. Among her special, favorite recipes that she has honed to perfection is her Snickerdoodle cookie recipe. She’s pretty proud of these little gems… and with good cause. They’re #DELISH.
She is often asked to share the recipe for them, so she agreed to share it here in our Kitchen Talk blog, along with some tips and tricks for re-creating these tasty treats in your own kitchen. Watch the video at the bottom, as Chef Jill invites you into her own kitchen to make her famous Snickerdoodle recipe. Then download the recipe and try it for your own friends and family. Her recipe only makes 18 cookies, so choose those lucky friends and family wisely…
There are several ‘tweaks’ that Chef Jill has made to the standard Snickerdoodle recipe over the years as she perfected the recipe. Here are some of her tips and tricks:
- Use a mixture of Bleached All-Purpose Flour and Cake Flour. The cake flour adds a lightness to the texture of the cookies. And using the bleached AP flour helps keep a light, white color.
- Try the ‘Spoon + Level’ method of measuring the flour. Spoon your flour into the measuring cup and then use a flat edge to level it. Don’t tap-tap-tap the cup – the flour will settle and get condensed. We want a nice, light cookie!
- Bake these cookies with the best-quality butter available that you can afford. OK, any unsalted butter will work… just promise you won’t use margarine. It’s an hydrogenated oil, and your cookies won’t turn out the same!
- Chef Jill likes to mix powdered sugar and regular white granulated sugar in her Snickerdoodles.
- Ready for Chef Jill’s Secret Ingredient? Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix! Her recipe calls for one box of the pudding mix.
- Use a cookie scoop to pull the dough from your bowl. Flatten the scoop against the edge of the bowl and scrape any stray dough from around the scoop. Drop the scoop of dough into your cinnamon/sugar mixture. Don’t roll the dough into a ball. Again, we want a light, airy cookie. So, sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar over the top of the dough, and then lightly toss it with your hands to coat all sides.
- You could skip the cinnamon/sugar step and frost your cookies instead.
- Bake just one sheet of cookies at a time. They won’t bake evenly if you put multiple trays in the oven.
Want even more inside ‘scoop’ on making the Snickerdoodles?
Watch Chef Jill as she makes them!
- ½ cup (one stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temp
- ½ cup shortening (not butter flavor!)
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 pkg. INSTANT vanilla pudding mix
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Make it to your own tastes, but I use 1 cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw) and 1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon… I like the crunch of the turbinado sugar)
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and both sugars until creamy.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla. Beat until fluffy and lightened in color, about 2 minutes.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, pudding mix, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the wet ingredients in two batches being careful not to overmix.
Use a cookie scoop to portion out 18 cookies, tossing each cookie in the cinnamon/sugar mixture before placing them 2-inches apart on a cookie sheet. For best results only put 9 cookies on each sheet.
Bake cookies ONE SHEET AT A TIME for 8-12 minutes or just until the edges start to turn light golden brown and the tops start to crack.
Cool on sheet tray for 5 minutes then remove to cool directly on cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months.