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A hand holding two snickerdoodles over a plate of cookies and two cinnamon sticks.
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5 from 3 votes

Apple Butter Snickerdoodles

Apple Butter Snickerdoodles remind me of an apple cider donut. They are fluffy and light on the inside with a slight crunch on the outside. Perfectly coated in cinnamon sugar, these cookies are everything we love about Fall.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time14 mins
Chill Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 29 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: apple butter, apple butter snickerdoodles, christmas cookies, snickerdoodles
Servings: 36 cookies
Calories: 118kcal

Ingredients

For Cookie Dough

For Cinnamon Sugar

Instructions

  • Begin by creaming together the butter and 1 ¼ cups of sugar with a mixer. When it is fully mixed together, it should look like really light and fluffy butter.
  • While the butter and sugar mix together, sift the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and baking powder together in a large bowl and place it off to the side.
  • Next, add eggs to the creamed butter and sugar until fully incorporated, one at a time.
  • When the eggs are fully mixed in, add apple butter, vanilla extract, and ½ a teaspoon of cinnamon and mix until well combined.
  • Now, add the sifted flour in small increments - I usually just use a measuring cup and mix it in a little at a time. (If you add all the flour at once and turn on the mixer, the flour will poof up into a cloud and make a huge mess.)
  • After the flour is fully mixed in, either cover the bowl or transfer the dough to wax paper and place in a zip-top bag.
  • Move dough to the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours. If you are in a hurry to bake cookies, you can put it in the freezer for 30 minutes, but do not bake the dough from frozen - it will take much longer and the cookies won't bake the same. (You also want the dough to be soft enough to roll into balls.)
  • When you are ready to bake cookies, preheat your oven to 350°F. Then combine ⅓ of a cup of sugar with 1 ¼ teaspoons of cinnamon. (I usually just mix the two together with a fork.)
  • Now, using a spoon or a scoop, make uniformly sized balls of dough and roll them in the cinnamon sugar. I like to do a double roll and roll them in the sugar mixture two times - the first time gets sugar onto the cookies and the second sits on top and gets crispy when you bake the cookies.
  • Now, bake the cookies at 350°F for 12 - 14 minutes. I like to let the cookies get slightly browned and a little crispy on the outside - it gives them the texture of a cinnamon sugar donut.
  • Let cool for a few minutes so you don't burn your mouth, but these cookies are best served while still warm!

Notes

Storage/Reheating
Snickerdoodles should be eaten immediately to enjoy the best results - aren't cookies always best when eaten warm out of the oven? If making these cookies in advance, store them in an airtight container. I like to reheat them in the air fryer for just a few minutes to get the outside nice and crispy and keep the inside nice and chewy.
If you don't plan on eating all the cookies at once or you aren't making these cookies to bring somewhere, just make the cookies in batches for dessert when you want to serve them. For just my husband and myself, I will make 2 - 4 cookies every night for dessert until we run out of dough - the dough keeps well in the refrigerator and the cookies are always perfectly fresh and warm. (And we don't have cookies sitting around to tempt us when it is not dessert time ;) )
Tips
Use these tips to make the best Apple Butter Snickerdoodles:
  • This dough MUST be chilled before baking. Between the butter and the apple butter, this dough is just asking to be a flat cookie. If you like flat cookies or have no patience, you can certainly bake warm dough, but if you want a fluffy, delicious, and perfect snickerdoodle, you should chill your dough.
  • Make sure that you scoop your cookie dough using a spoon or a scoop to get uniform sizes so that your cookies bake evenly.
  • Double roll your cookies in the cinnamon sugar. It makes them extra sweet, extra sugary, and a little crisper on the outside.
  • These cookies are a perfect Fall treat with a glass of cold milk, a hot toddy, hot apple cider, or a seasonal latte.
  • I highly recommend making your own apple butter. Click here for a link to my favorite recipe. If you have to buy it, I try to look for a locally made brand or one with labeling from an Amish distributer. If you can't find either of those - Mussleman's and Dickinson's are both really good!
FAQs
What is a snickerdoodle?
According to Wikipedia, "The Joy of Cooking claims that snickerdoodles are probably German in origin, and that the name is a corruption of the German word Schneckennudel, a Palatine variety of schnecken.[1] It is also possible that the name is simply a nonsense word with no particular meaning, originating from a New England tradition of whimsical cookie names." What a snickerdoodle is as far as I am concerned is a delicious, soft sugar cookie that is rolled in cinnamon sugar and is light, pillowy, and all things wonderful. A snickerdoodle also has cream of tartar in the dough and this gives the cookies a tang that is a signature sign of a snickerdoodle.
What is the difference between Apple Butter and Apple Sauce?
Apple butter is basically just apple sauce that is cooked for a little bit longer (and usually with a little bit more sugar.) Cooking the apples for longer makes them thicken up and makes them more spreadable, like a preserve or jam.
I like to make these cookies using a melon baller that is about 1 tablespoon as the scoop. They usually end up a tiny bit bigger as it is usually a rounded scoop, but this ensures, at the very least, that the cookies are all about the same size. With this size scoop, it makes about 36 cookies. Of course, if you make the cookies bigger, you will have fewer cookies - smaller and you will have more cookies.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5tbsp | Calories: 118kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 71mg | Potassium: 55mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 131IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg