Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

This Valentines, whisper "I love you" with home-baked cookies baked with love. This recipe is written for new bakers who wonder, Why does a recipe say that? What do they mean by that?

Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

This Valentine’s Day, whisper “I love you” with a plateful of just-baked cookies. If you’re an experienced cook, share your knowledge and a cookie-baking afternoon with a young cook. Or if you’re a new cook, let’s decode a simple but delicious cookie recipe step by step. Why this? Why that? The answers are here.

Cookie recipes call for butter warmed to room temperature so it will mix more evenly; just leave a stick on the counter for two to three hours. Unsalted butter allows control over how much salt is added; to use salted butter, no problem, just omit the added salt. Slightly warm eggs capture more air, resulting in lighter cookies. Always fluff flour before measuring; otherwise you’ll use more than needed and risk tough baked goods. Small grains of ‘table salt’ (every-day salt, not kosher or sea salt) distribute evenly throughout cookie dough.

Cookies baked in the middle of an oven benefit from even heat distribution. It takes an oven 10-15 minutes to ‘preheat’ and reach the optimal baking temperature. In this recipe, the ‘dry’ ingredients are flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and table salt. When dry ingredients are lightly mixed beforehand, it’s easier to not overmix the dough, which can cause toughness. Leaving space between the dough balls prevents the cookies from touching as they spread while baking. A time range, versus a specific number of minutes, allows for variations in oven temperatures and other conditions. Check the cookies after 8 minutes, if they’re done, proceed; if not, bake another minute or two til done.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

KITCHEN LESSON:
CINNAMON SUGAR COOKIES

Soft and chewy, bright with cinnamon
Hands-on time: about 30 minutes
Time to table: about 4 hours
Makes about 30 cookies
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature (why?)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, immersed in warm water for 5 minutes (why?)
  • 1-1/2 cups flour, fluffed with a fork before measuring (why?)
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon table (why?) salt
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Place oven rack in center slot (why?). Set oven to 350F and preheat (why?). While oven heats, in a large bowl, mix butter and sugar with electric mixer until thoroughly mixed. Add egg, beat til smooth. In a small bowl, stir together dry ingredients (what?) with a fork (why?). Mix into dough, stopping as soon as flour is incorporated. (Why?)

In a small bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon. Break off piece of dough about size of a cherry tomato with fingertips, shape into a ball between your palms, roll in sugar mixture. Arrange balls in rows on a cookie sheet about two inches apart (why?). When sheet is full, place in hot oven to bake for 8 – 10 minutes (why?). Remove sheet, let cookies cool for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to a paper towel on a counter to finish cooling. Repeat with the cooled tray til dough is gone (or use a second tray). Savor, share, be proud!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Cookie: 75 Calories; 3g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 11g Carb; 0g Fiber; 44mg Sodium; 15mg Cholesterol; 1g Protein; Weight Watchers Old Points 2 & PointsPlus 2

More Easy Cookie Recipes for
the Ones We Love

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Perfect M&M Cookies Graham Cracker Toffee Mocha Morsels

More Romantic Recipes for Our Valentines

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Lavender Steak & Lavender Potatoes Quick Supper: Date-Night Chicken Cauliflower Risotto
~ more ideas for Valentine's Day recipes ~

Well, I'm delighted that I found you. Congratulations on your site. Barbara Kafka
 
Sounds like a great recipe and I'll definitely be trying it since I'm on Weight Watchers, but I wanted to make you aware.

At 75 calories, 3g of fat and 0g of fiber, each cookie is 2 Weight Watcher Points, not 1. Two cookies is 4 Weight Watcher Points.

It makes a difference to those of us on the plan! =)
 
Hi Alora ~ Are you by chance using the Weight Watchers 'slide'? If so, my own experience is that it overstates the points for recipes within range of the cusp. Math-wise, the cookie is one point.

That said, points are simply a guide, they help us make decisions. So if "two points" works for you, go for it. Good luck with your weight loss!
 
Hi Alanna!

I just baked these cookies and they are delicious! Thank you for your many tips on how to create the perfect cookie (I had NO idea about the "egg in warm water" one!).
I have recently began Weight Watchers and was so happy to find a recipe for cinnamon sugar cookies. To actually have it turn out to be one of the best cookies I've made was just an added bonus! I'm looking forward to trying out some of your other recipes. Thanks!
 
We call these snickerdoodles in the states. Wow, I can't believe that Barbara Kafka reads you! She is one of my favorite cookbook authors. I'm glad to have found you as well. It was the oatmeal recipes that reeled me in.
 
I like this 1-point cookie made with standard ingredients. It satisfies my cookie hunger while fitting in with the points system. I've tried a few modifications. The first batch, I added vanilla and they were excellent. Today I made two versions.

Lime Sugar Cookies: add 1 1/2 teaspons of lime oil (Boyajian purchased from King Arthur catalog)to the butter/sugar mixture. For the sugar topping, add 1/8 tsp lime oil to 1 tblsp sugar and dip the cookie in that before baking.

Cocoa Sugar Cookies: reduce the flour by 1/4 c. add 1/4 c. dark cocoa and 1 tsp orange oil. Dip in plain sugar (you could add orange oil here too but I didn't). This is a stiffer cookie dough and needs to be flattened with the back of a spoon before baking.

Both of these ideas were my version of Dancing Deer Baking Co. cookies.

Susan from Massachusetts
 
Susan ~ I hereby appoint you 'chief recipe enhancement officer' -- what great changes, for sure, taking a tried and true recipe and giving it new faces. Thank you so much for sharing these great ideas, you've got me hankering for lime cookies!
 
Hi! I attempted to make these cookies today, and it didn't turn out so well for me. I followed the recipe to the letter, and my cookie batter was just a big crumbly mess. They wouldn't roll into balls. I did manage to get a few to stick together long enough to dredge into the cinnamon/sugar mixture. The flavor was nice, and they were soft straight out of the oven, but the longer they sat the crunchier they got. What did I do wrong? Maybe I didn't fluff the flour enough? Should I use less next time?
 
Hi Taylor Family ~ So sorry the recipe didn't work out, it's much-much tested so something was different. Two things come to mind --

Given the description of the crumbly dough, is it possible that you maybe used a half stick of butter versus a half cup which is a whole stick?

What kind of flour did you use? I've had trouble, before, using King Arthur's 100% White Whole Wheat Flour, and even find some difference with the King Arthur all-purpose flour. As for fluffing, it's no particular trick, you just fluff it up with a fork two or three times, you can actually FEEL it lighten up.

After that -- hmm, I'm not sure.

But I do apologize -- I work really hard to make sure ALL recipes are real winners, both in taste and technique.
 
Oh, you know what, I did do something different (sorry, mommy brain working overtime!)...I used butter flavored Crisco...you think that's what did it? I'll try it again with real butter, and let you know how it goes. I didn't have enough butter the first go round. Thanks!
 
Yes, I'd bet so though honestly, I'd have made the same swap too without expecting too much difference in performance. Maybe this cookie just really likes butter. :-)
 
These cookies are delish. My 2 1/2 year old who doesn't like cookies absolutely loved them. I love them too as I am following the WW program and sometimes want a cookie (and one withour preservatives gets high marks from me). Thanks!
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna