- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut in half
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
I am indecisive by nature, but if you asked me to choose my favorite type of cookie, I’d feel confident in my answer: the humble snickerdoodle. While some may say it’s nothing but a sugar cookie rolled in cinnamon sugar, I beg to differ. Snickerdoodles are a celebration of simplicity. They’re soft and tender, with a touch of bright tang, thanks to the use of cream of tartar in the batter. A generous amount of cinnamon sugar lends cozy warmth that makes snickerdoodles an edible hug. Snickerdoodles might never steal the spotlight from chocolate chip cookies but they definitely hold their own on a cookie plate and are a classic in their own right.
This recipe marries my snickerdoodle fangirl status with my other love: blondies (I told you I was indecisive.) I bake a batch of blondies almost weekly given how quick and easy they are to pull together. There’s no need to portion out the dough, you don’t need a stand or hand mixer to make them and they’re easy to pack up and take to a party, picnic, potluck or cookout. This dessert takes all the cinnamon-y goodness of snickerdoodle and turns it into bar form. Brown butter lends nutty richness to the blondie batter while brown sugar provides soft texture and molasses-like sweetness. Meanwhile, the combo of cream of tartar and baking soda gives the blondies lift and a touch of tangy flavor that’s signature in snickerdoodles. Most importantly, the blondies are sprinkled generously with cinnamon sugar before baking to mimic the cinnamon sugar coating that snickerdoodles are known for.
Technique Tip: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Swap Option: Try replacing 1 teaspoon of the ground cinnamon in the cinnamon sugar mixture with 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom for a warm and spicy twist!
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350 F.2.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, continue to cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, until the foam subsides and butter just turns toasty brown and has a nutty aroma, 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately transfer the brown butter to a large heatproof bowl and cool for 5 minutes.3.
Meanwhile, line an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two opposite sides like a sling.4.
In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.5.
Add the brown sugar and egg to the bowl of brown butter and stir until combined and smooth. Add the flour, the remaining 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt and mix until just combined.6.
Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and press and spread it into an even layer. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the top. Bake until the edges are firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs, 16 to 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes then use the parchment sling to lift the blondie slab out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.
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