Although I have no idea where the name for these cookies comes from, the best way to describe them is like sugar cookies with a hug. Honestly, I have absolutely no idea what makes them taste so good. Take a sugar cookies and roll it in cinnamon sugar. Sounds good, absolutely. But no. They're delicious. Scrumtulescent, I believe would be the word for them. These are classic suburban cookies at their finest.
And they're perfect for baking when strangers come round. That is, when you're not sure whether the recipient likes chocolate or is allergic to nuts or one of the host of other maladies that strike chefs down everywhere. Granted, they won't be on a celiac's top ten list, but apart from them and the vegans, it's hard to find someone who won't like these.
And so for such classic Americana delicacies, there's no better place to turn than the institution that is The Joy of Cooking, now in its 3 billionth edition.
But honestly, if you make these once, you'll have the recipe memorized. It's just that easy. And because I insist on making everything complicated, I actually threw a little pumpkin pie spice into the mix as well (that is, a blend of allspice, cloves, and nutmeg). I'm not sure if it did anything, but with or without, these cookies are definite crowd-pleasers.
2 cups all purpose (or plain) flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
Optional: 2 tsp. Pumpkin pie spices (allspice, cloves, and nutmeg)
For cinnamon sugar topping
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease or line 2 cookies sheets. Whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
In a different bowl, beat the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the eggs and beat again.
Finally, stir in the flour mixture.
Now combine the sugar and cinnamon to make your topping. Shape the dough into 1 1/4 inch balls, roll in the cinnamon sugar, and arrange about 2 1/2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until the cookies are light golden brown on the edges, about 12- 14 minutes. Let stand to briefly, then remove to a rack to cool.
Makes about 30 cookies.