One of the rules about baking is to use a trustworthy recipe. In my cookie baking quest, I figured that a celebrity chef would 1. have a half decent recipe and 2. have people checking her recipes to make sure they wouldn’t fail.

Boy was I wrong. I should have learned from my baking disaster as a result of Martha Stewart’s special cookie magazine.

Nigella Lawsons snickerdoodles

Nigella Lawson's snickerdoodles

This time, I made Nigella Lawson’s snickerdoodle recipe from her book, How to be a Domestic Goddess. These aren’t the traditional kind of snickerdoodle recipe as instead of a flat cookie, these are baked in round balls and are supposed to have a texture similar to doughnut holes. Visually, they look very cute and appetizing.

Off the plate and into your mouth, they are dry, hard, and dry. I had a batch of lovely scented rocks on my hands. Microwaving them didn’t help much, and they were only edible if you soaked them in milk or coffee. These ended up in the garbage bin rather than in my gift tins.

from Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour (alternatively, replace 2 tbsp of the flour with cocoa to make “chocodoodles”)
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp sugar for rolling cookies
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 baking sheets, lined with parchment or greased

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Combine the flour, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter with 1/3 cup sugar until light in texture and pale in colour. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Stir in the dry ingredients until smooth.

Mix 2 tbsp sugar and the cinnamon and place it onto a plate.
With your fingers, squeeze out pieces of the dough and roll between the palms of your hands into walnut-sized balls.
Roll each ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and arrange on greased or lined baking sheets.

Bake for about 12 – 15 minutes, until golden brown.
Cool on baking sheets for 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

9 thoughts on “Snickerdoodles

  1. lorna grimes says:

    Nigellas Snickerdoodles

    My son makes these regularly, they are foolproof and take a few minutes to prepare and are absolutely delicious! they must be eaten straight out of the oven at their best, but ooooooooooo that nugmeg and cinnamon!
    They have become a firm household favourite and one that i will pass down to my grandchildren!
    Welldone Nigella!

    ps im really glad theyre not flat, you can sink your teeth into them!

  2. Glad they work out for you; for me they are far from foolproof.

    I’ve done some Internet searches and while many people like this recipe unfortunately I’m not the only one who has had problems. Even straight out of the oven they were really dense (more dense than cake!) and dry.

  3. Jess says:

    I have to say, I’ve made this recipe well over a dozen times and have never had a problem with them. The only suggestion I can make is that perhaps you rolled the balls too large; they do look awfully big in that picture.

  4. Made these at the weekend with my kids. Recipe said to roll the balls to ‘walnut’ sized, and the UK recipe book (not using cups as measures, but presumably should be equivalent!) reckoned the mix would make ‘about’ 32 balls.
    We obviously weren’t doing too well with the walnut estimate for size, as our quantity of dough made 22 balls. Despite them being a bit larger than the recipe said, I pulled them out after 13 mins. They were nice (especially fresh) and they weren’t dry/hard, but I wouldn’t have called them ‘cookie-chewy’ either, and within a couple of hours the last few that hadn’t been eaten were definitely on the dry side, and far from ‘cake-like’. So maybe the answer is to make them a bit bigger than the recipe says, cook them fairly briefly, and eat them immediately (when they’re at their nicest anyway).
    I have to say, haven’t had the best results with Nigella – in the same book is her ‘absolute favourite’ recipe for scones, and it’s dreadful. My husband will literally eat anything, and even he said they were only good for the birds…
    If you want a Brit celebrity chef with foolproof recipes, it’s got to be Delia Smith ( all the way – everything tested, everything delicious, before it gets near a book; and 2000 or so of her recipes are available free online, too.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I made these for lunch today from Nigella’s book (UK version) and they were perfect, but I only make 18 from the quantity, so they are soft & scrummy. Even better served as suggested with spiced plums!

  6. I don’t always love all Nigella’s recipes, but I’ve actually always loved these. I make them with my kids. They turn out with a gorgeous crumbly middle – slightly dry, but delicious. I have to say the doughnut thing she refers to in the recipe is misleading I think – the texture is usually a little dryer. But they are gorgeous! My children love to help me as they love rolling them out. Check out my pictures here… and

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