Snickerdoodles contain flour, butter, eggs, vanilla, salt, baking soda, cream of tartar and sugar. In addition, they have an outer coating of cinnamon and sugar. Some recipes for snickerdoodles contain corn syrup, margarine or shortening. Other recipes contain baking powder in place of baking soda.
Some recipes for snickerdoodles do not contain cream of tartar. However, the Huffington Post states that cream of tartar is necessary to create a soft texture. Without cream of tartar, sugar crystals form inside the cookies, making them grainy and crunchy. Snickerdoodles without cream of tartar also have a less tangy flavor.
Those with special diets can substitute some of the ingredients for snickerdoodles. For example, margarine can replace butter. A recipe for vegan snickerdoodles uses vegan margarine, vanilla soymilk and cornstarch in place of butter and eggs.
When making snickerdoodles, cooks first combine flour, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar in one bowl. They then beat the butter and sugar together in a second bowl. Adding eggs and vanilla to the mixture of butter and sugar comes next, followed by thoroughly beating the batter. They add the flour mixture, beat the dough until it's smooth, and then chill it for at least an hour. Baking the cookies begins with forming the dough into small balls and rolling them in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. The cookies then bake at 400 degrees F for 8 to 12 minutes.