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Claire Ptak’s snickerdoodles

My mother has baked these cookies every Christmas for as long as I can remember. Honestly, the name is slightly embarrassing to say out loud. It’s an old-time American recipe probably with origins in the Amish community, where whoopie pies were invented. In American baking we have something called a sugar cookie, which is basically a plain cookie usually rolled in sugar before baking. These are similar, with cinnamon added to the coating and extra cream of tartar added for their uniquely tart flavour. Baking these now with my daughter, Frances, in London, brings back so many lovely memories of my parents’ Californian kitchen.

Makes 15 large cookiesunsalted butter 250g, softenedcaster sugar 300geggs 2plain flour 320gcream of tartar 2 tspbicarbonate of soda 1 tspsalt ½ tspground cinnamon 1 tbspgranulated sugar 2 tbsp

Line a small baking sheet or container (one that will fit inside your freezer) with baking parchment.

Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until combined but not too creamy – you are not aiming for light and fluffy here. Add the eggs and mix well.

In another bowl combine the flour, cream of tartar, bicarbonate of soda and salt, and whisk together well. Add this to the butter mixture and mix until combined.

Scoop individual portions (about the size of a golf ball) of cookie dough onto the lined baking sheet or container. Roll each portion into a ball. Cover with clingfilm and freeze for at least 1 hour, or up to a month.

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