I have a strangely vivid memory of my first snickerdoodle. Ninth grade, school cafeteria, right after class. I’d never heard of snickerdoodles before, but loved them immediately. Partly because they’re delicious… and partly because the word “snickerdoodle” is really, really fun to say.
Snickerdoodles stand out from the pack because they’re super chewy, with a bit of a tang that complements a cinnamon top. I’ve made a ton of takes on snickerdoodles over the years, from the classics to apple butter doodles and even a rosemary version. But I’d never thought about applying their approach to a totally non-cinnamon cookie until I saw this recipe from Hummingbird High. Michelle is genius to apply that snickerdoodle style tang and texture to a lemon raspberry flavor combo.
I brought these to work and so many people asked for the recipe, I knew I had to share it here. If you make these, keep a super close eye on the cookies as they bake. The little raspberry bits seem prone to burning, so make sure to get your cookies out of the oven at just the right time!
Lemon Raspberry “Snickerdoodles”
Original recipe: Hummingbird High. I’ve rewritten things a bit and added commentary.
Yield: ~24 cookies
Suggested equipment: Food processor, mixer
Total Time: About an hour, with cooling time
Cook Time: 8-10 minutes
For the cookies
- 1 1/2 cups, minus 1 tbsp granulated sugar (just measure 1 tablespoon out and put it back in your container!)
- 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
- Zest from one medium lemon
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp kosher salt (It’s important to use kosher salt instead of regular table salt! They’re totally different sizes and impart a different flavor.)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temp
- 1/2 tsp lemon extract
For the topping
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons freeze dried raspberries (I got mine at Trader Joe’s)
Make your raspberry sugar
Use a food processor to combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar with the freeze dried raspberries. Pulse the processor until the raspberries get pretty small, and the mixture looks uniform throughout.
Make your dough
- Preheat your oven to 400F and move a rack to the center of your oven.
- Combine your granulated sugar, brown sugar and zest in a small bowl. Use your fingers to toss it all together, then rub the zest into the sugar so it clumps and starts to smell fragrant. This helps release the oils that provide great lemony flavor. Set this aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk your flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and kosher salt.
- Throw your sugar mixture into your mixer, then add the butter. Beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until it’s light and fluffy.
- Reduce your mixer speed to its slowest setting, and add the eggs one at a time.
- Add your lemon extract, and make sure it’s fully incorporated.
- Keeping your mixer on its lowest speed, start adding in the flour mixture. Add it gradually until it’s just combined with the other ingredients.
- Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper. Scoop your cookie dough so it’s about two tablespoons of dough per cookie. Put them on the sheets at least a couple inches apart so they don’t meld together when they spread in the oven.
- Roll each cookie dough’s top in the raspberry sugar coating, then put it back on the pan. The original recipe has you roll the whole ball but I found that the raspberries burn a bit, so I found it better to just put the raspberries on top.
- Bake your cookies 8-10 minutes. Keep a close eye on them to make sure they’re not burning on the tops. Take them out of the oven when the edges look set, but the centers are puffed and gooey. If the top starts to brown, it’s time to take them out.
- Let the cookies cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then flip them over to a wire rack to cool completely.