I have always considered snickerdoodles to be an unsung hero of the dessert world. They win hands-down for novelty of name alone. Those uninitiated into the snickerdoodle fan club (I am the president) might wonder how they are any different from a sugar cookie, and I will tell them: Unlike a sugar cookie, which is fairly one-note, a snickerdoodle has a slight "tang" which comes from cream of tartar. Cream of tartar is also responsible for the snickerdoodle's chewy, almost cakey texture.
A cookie like a snickerdoodle is a classic for good reason, and I was reluctant to fuss with the formula: buttery, cakey cookie, rolled in cinnamon sugar. But I happened upon a recipe from Lipton tea for a tea-infused snickerdoodle, and I couldn't resist.
Would the cookie still retain its essential flavor? Would the tea detract from what makes a snickerdoodle so good? I tweaked the recipe; Lipton instructs you to use instant powdered iced tea, which I balked at. Instead, I used finely ground loose tea leaves (English breakfast, but Earl Grey or another black tea would work well), and added it both to the dough and to the cinnamon sugar coating for the cookies.
They're exactly what I hoped for: classic in all the right ways with an interesting flavor twist from the tea leaves. If you're looking for a way to jazz up your baking routine, or impress any tea-loving friends, you've come to the right place.
For the dough
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons loose black tea (finely ground in a food processor or spice grinder)
For the topping
- 1 tablespoon loose black tea (finely ground in a food processor or spice grinder)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
How else do you use tea in baking? Share some ideas in the comments below.