Baking,  Recipes,  Shaw Christmas Favourites


Snickerdoodles2017 Update: I associate Snickerdoodles with Christmas, not because my family necessarily loves them but because I do, and anything sugary and cinnamony is bound to seem Christmassy to me. I’ve rarely seen this recipe posted anywhere, which surprises me because these cookies are delicious.

I got the recipe when I worked at Lang Pioneer Village as a costumed interpreter, baking on the old wood-fired cast iron stoves in the Keene Hotel or the Milburn House, learning to gauge temperature based on how quickly your arm-hair felt singed when you stuck your arm in the oven.  Unfortunately, an electric or gas oven can’t replicate the particularly delicious flavour that a cast-iron, wood-burning oven imparts, but they’re still pretty good.

I’m certain that this is not a very authentic pioneer recipe (that’s rather a lot of fine sugar and butter to be wasting in backwoods Upper Canada), but I gather that it was popular from at least the early 20th century until maybe the 70s or so, when there was a revival of people baking from scratch.

Easy, easy delicious cookies.  You can whip up a whole batch and have them cooling on the kitchen counter within an hour or so.

This recipe is part of my Shaw Family Christmas Recipes series; you can find the rest of our annual cooking and baking traditions there.



  • 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Snickerdoodles1.  Pre-heat oven to 400 F

2.  Combine 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside.

3.  Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar in a medium bowl and sift together; set aside.

4.  Cream butter, gradually add 1 1/2 cups sugar; mix well.

5. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well.

6. Stir in flour mixture; mix well.

7.  Shape dough into 1″ balls; roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Place 2″ apart on baking trays.

Snickerdoodles8.  Bake for 6 minutes or so until lightly browned (the difference between a burnt Snickerdoodle and an uncooked Snickerdoodle Snickerdoodlesseems to be a matter of seconds, so keep an eye on them).