Iconic snickerdoodles. Good enough, yes? How about some mini snickerdoodles sandwiched together with homemade dulce de leche. Ooh, yes, please. After all we can’t eat all that dulce de leche straight out of the jar, um, can we? (Shakes head ‘no’ while licking spoon). Spreading that creamy, sticky goodness on a fresh-baked snickerdoodle just elevates that classic treat to cookie nirvana. Of course, these cookies are delicious without the dulce de leche, too.
This has been our family recipe for years. It’s the one I grew up with. It’s an all-shortening recipe which isn’t as common today. While snickerdoodles aren’t particularly thick cookies anyway, shortening helps keep them from flattening completely and spreading while baking. It also contributes to a more tender cookie, versus a crisper, all-butter cookie. Many people substitute butter for shortening in recipes, principally for the flavor. I get around that somewhat by using butter-flavored shortening in my baked goods.
Do you have to use cream of tartar? I think you should. Cream of tartar (a byproduct of wine-making) gives snickerdoodles their distinctive flavor: an understated, but detectable acidic tang. It also helps to keep cookies chewy, rather than crisp. When combined with baking soda it acts as a leavening agent. Science class dismissed.
I love sandwich cookies. My philosophy: two cookies are better than one, especially if there’s something decadent between them. These cookies can stand alone (roll into walnut sized balls) or be delicious sandwich cookies (roll a little less than half that size). The dulce de leche recipe on my site will fill about one and one-half dozen sandwich cookies, depending on how much you use, although the recipe makes twice that many. You can make two batches of dulce de leche (you go!), you can use something else for a filling, or you can leave the rest of your cookies nekkid.
And if dulce de leche between little snickerdoodles sounds great but there’s simply no time to make your own, good news: you can buy it in a can ready-made. Look for it in the ethnic foods section (or possibly in the baking goods section next to the sweetened condensed milk) of your grocery store. It won’t taste exactly the same as homemade (what does?) but I have used it and it’s fine when you’re pressed for time.
I hope you enjoy these cookies like I did growing up: big and tender melt-in-your-mouth, sugar-and-cinnamon treats. I also hope you try my new twist on this classic: mini dulce de leche snickerdoodle sandwich cookies. You should probably make both. I want you to have a balanced life. You know, a balanced life: a cookie in each hand.
Favorite Snickerdoodles + Mini Snickerdoodle Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies
- 2 ¾ c. flour
- 2 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 c. shortening
- 1 ½ c. sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 ½ Tbs. sugar, for rolling
- 1 ¼ tsp. cinnamon, for rolling
- Dulce de leche, homemade or store-bought, for filling, if desired
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Step 2 Line cookie sheets with parchment or silpat baking mats.
- Step 3 Whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Step 4 In a large mixing bowl beat shortening with 1 ½ cups sugar until well-combined.
- Step 5 Beat in eggs, one at a time.
- Step 6 Reduce mixer speed and add half of the flour mixture, mixing well.
- Step 7 Turn off mixer and mix in remaining flour mixture by hand.
- Step 8 Mix the 2 ½ Tbs. sugar with the cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Step 9
- Step 10 Roll tablespoon-size cookie dough into balls (or make smaller cookies for sandwich cookies, a heaping teaspoon per cookie).
- Step 11 Bake large cookies 10-12 minutes, mini cookies 9-10 minutes.
- Step 12 Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
- Step 13 If desired, spread one side of a mini cookie with one teaspoon dulce de leche and top with another mini cookie. Continue with remaining cookies.