One of my favorite food memories from growing up in the midwest is Eileen’s Colossal Cookies. Of course, it’s no surprise my family and I became huge fans living in the birthplace of Eileen’s, Hastings, NE, for several years. Eileen’s Cookies has expanded beyond the midwest, but I remember growing up with Eileen’s as one of the treasures known only to Nebraska.
When my family made a trip to Eileen’s Cookies, a dozen Snickerdoodles were always included in our order. To this day, the experience of biting into the thick, soft cookies enrobed in cinnamon and sugar is baked in my memory. I have yet to find a store that sells Snickerdoodles quite like Eileen’s, but I’ve concocted a recipe that holds me over until the next time I can taste Eileen’s Snickerdoodles.
How to Make Snickerdoodles Dairy-Free
Making the shift to dairy-free Snickerdoodles isn’t hard at all with the availability of plant-based butter sticks like those from Country Crock. This is not a sponsored post for Country Crock. But, I like giving them a shout-out, because I use their Avocado Oil butter sticks all the time for my baking.
So far, I’ve found Country Crock’s plant-based butter at my favorite local grocery store. If you can’t find Country Crock’s plant butter, Earth Balance’s plant-based butter is a possible substitute and I’ve seen the brand sold at Wal-Mart and other larger grocery store chains. Since Earth Balance is not at the grocery store I frequent, I don’t use it as much in my recipes and I can’t guarantee how it will react in the recipe. But, I’m sure it will be close to the same result, so I say go for it!
Steps to help you make the best Snickerdoodles
- Mix a little cinnamon into the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Set aside for later.
- Cream the butter, sugar, and salt.
- Beat the butter with sugar and salt on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
- The “creaming” process incorporates air and ensures that every sugar crystal is wrapped tightly in butter. Doesn’t that sound yummy?
- Add Eggs, Vanilla and, yes, Almond Extract…I know it’s a little out-of-the-ordinary for Snickerdoodles, but I like to throw in a little almond extract. It adds to the pizzazz in the overall flavor of my Snickerdoodle cookies.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients and a little water to finish off the dough.
- It’s plain and simple. Adding the dry ingredients slowly, with your mixer on low, keeps your workstation clear and all the ingredients where they should be. It also prevents the dough from getting overworked.
- Another of my unorthodox steps is adding a little water to the dough to bring it all together. Trust me. It’s the only way I have been able to achieve a little crisp on the outside with the soft texture in the center. I experimented with removing some of the flour and not adding water, but it didn’t yield the result I wanted.
- Roll the cookie dough balls in generous amounts of cinnamon and sugar. When I form my Snickerdoodle cookie dough balls, I like to make them roughly the size of a mandarin orange before rolling each ball several times in cinnamon and sugar.
- Flatten the cookies slightly before baking.
- The cookies will be more likely to bake evenly if you take the time to press each dough ball down slightly before placing them in the oven.
- When the cookie dough balls have been wrapped in cinnamon and sugar, set them about 3-inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Use a water glass or measuring cup (basically, anything with a flat surface on the bottom) to press the dough ball down a bit until it is about ⅜- to ½-inch thick.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 7-9 minutes.
- One of the most essential steps to the entire process is not overbaking the cookies. If you’re not sure, err on the side of underbaking.
- Once you place the cookies in the oven, set the timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, rotate the cookie sheet and bake for 2-3 more minutes, depending on how they look. You want the cookies to be set up (not jiggly when you move the cookie sheet) and the edges to be firm but not golden.
- Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 4-5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. The cookies will continue to set up as they sit and rest on the baking sheet. Also, they will hold together better when you transfer them to the cooling rack.
I hope you enjoy making your Snickerdoodles and let me know how you like them!
- 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 2 sticks plant-based Butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Water
Cinnamon & Sugar Mixture
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
- If you plan on baking the cookies right away, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl or with a stand mixer, cream the sugar, butter, and salt for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add eggs, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix for about 30 seconds, then scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Gradually add dry ingredients and water until the dough starts to form. Fold the dough a few times with a spatula, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are mixed in.
- Scoop dough balls ( roughly somewhere between a golf ball and a mandarin orange) and shape by rolling gently between the palms of your hands.
- Coat dough balls in cinnamon and sugar mixture before placing on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Press cookies gently until they are 3/8- to 1/2-inch thick. (A water glass or measuring cup works well as long as it has a flat surface on the bottom to press the cookies evenly).
- Bake cookies for 5-6 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheet and bake for another 2-4 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies.
- Cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.