Last holiday season I went to a cookie exchange. Before going, I knew that all the classic favorites would be there (like peanut butter kisses, frosted cut-out cookies, hello dollies, Russian tea cakes, jam thumbprints, and all kinds of fudge), but I wanted to bring something different. I searched online, in numerous cookbooks, and even in my mom’s recipe box, but I didn’t find anything that really called to me.
Then an idea hit me: a hybrid cookie! A pairing so perfect that both cookies would come together seamlessly. The two fantastic cookies that I chose to combine ended up both being old-fashioned favorites: snickerdoodles and molasses crinkles. With my hybrid, I was going for a cookie that looked like and had the texture of molasses crinkles (flat cookies that were crispy outside, but soft and chewy inside), and the flavor of snickerdoodles (buttery, cinnamon-y, and slightly tangy because of the cream of tartar). These cookies were right on the money and ended up being a huge hit a at the cookie exchange.
Yields 2 1/2 to 3 dozen cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet; refrigerate the dough until chilled (I stick it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes).
Preheat oven to 350F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners. In a shallow bowl, combine the white sugar and cinnamon. Scoop the dough out with a 1 1/2 tablespoon measure and roll it into balls; roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar and arrange them on the prepared baking sheets about 3 inches apart (they will spread out quite a bit as they cook; I do 6 cookies per half sheet pan).
Bake until the cookies are puffed (they’ll flatten as they cool) and are set along the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the trays once halfway through (be sure not to over-bake!). Cool for a couple minutes on the tray, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooking.