Old-fashioned snickerdoodle cookies all dressed up for the holidays with figs, orange zest and cardamom. They're all ready to eat in under 30 minutes!
Do you ever wonder where some cookie names come from? Chocolate chip cookies is easy. And ditto for peanut butter cookies and ginger-molasses cookies.
But there was a time in early New England when cookies were given playful names like plunkets, tangle breeches, kinkawoodles, and our infinitely more familiar snickerdoodle. Perfect cookie names for kids, am I right?
A snickerdoodle is a soft, buttery, sugar cookie dough rolled into little balls. Simple enough. But what makes them distinctly snickerdoodle is rolling the balls of dough in a mixture of fine sugar and cinnamon. And next to chocolate chip cookies, this was my favorite cookie when I was growing up.
This year, I decided to have a little fun with this childhood favorite, and modeled it from a recipe in a cookbook called Baking. I adding orange zest to the dough, used cardamom instead of cinnamon, and swapped in chopped dried Mission figs in place of the currants. The great thing about this recipe is that it's very flexible. So feel free to use what you have on hand, but I highly recommend the figs.
Tips for Making Figgy Snickerdoodle Cookies
- I like to use Bakers sugar, a very fine sugar, as it dissolved very quickly into the dough. But feel free to use regular granulated sugar, if that's what you have on hand.
- If you prefer the traditional cinnamon spice, instead of cardamom, use it instead with the same quantities.
- Be careful not to over-stir the cookie dough, as this can make the cookie dough tougher. This should be a very soft cookie.
- Chill the dough only long enough to easily roll into balls. For me, this took about 10 minutes.
- Always cover the dough when refrigerated to prevent a dry crust from forming on the surface.
- I like to weigh the cookie dough balls so that they bake up evenly.
- These cookies will spread, so be sure to space them 2-inches apart on the cookie sheet.
- Snickerdoodle cookies are good anytime, but when fresh from the oven – they're irresistible.
Figgy Cardamom Snickerdoodle Cookies
- 3 cups 13 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1 cup plus 3 Tbsp Bakers Sugar divided (regular granulated sugar can be substituted)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt 1/2 tsp table salt
- 2 tsp ground cardamom divided
- orange zest from 2 oranges
- 2/3 cup finely chopped dried figs
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 3 eggs well beaten
- tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 425˚F and line a baking sheet with either parchment paper or a silpat.
- In a medium - large bowl, whisk together the flour, 1 cup of the Bakers Sugar, brown sugar, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and 1 tsp of the ground cardamom. I like to use a whisk to more evenly disperse the baking soda through the flour and sugar. Whisk in the orange zest and minced dried figs.
- In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. Pour into the flour mixture and stir using a large spoon to form a dough. Once all the flour mixture has been absorbed by the liquid, stop stirring. Continuing to stir may toughen this soft cookies. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. It's fine to refrigerate for longer, but be sure to cover the dough with plastic.
- In a small bowl, stir together the remaining cardamom and sugar.
- Roll the slightly chilled dough into 1 1/2" balls. I weigh mine - and make them 1 ounce each. Roll the dough balls in the cardamom - sugar mixture and place them on the baking sheet 2 inches apart. These cookies spread.
- Bake for 8 minutes, or until firmed up around the edges, a little cracked on top, and golden in color. Move to a cooling rack, but feel free to help yourself to a couple while they're still warm.