There comes a time in every hero’s life when they must come from behind the scenes and enter the spotlight. This recipe was my girlfriend’s moment. Her chance to emerge from the doldrums of internet programming and enter into Hell’s kitchen. Sure it might sound a bit overly dramatic, but these cookies were enough to make a grown man cry.

There are a ton of websites that claim that cream of tartar is essential for a great tasting snickerdoodle because they claim that it adds volume and acidity to the mixture. These are true enough observations, but, in my opinion, it is possible to use other acidic ingredients, if you don’t have cream of tartar.

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Cream of Tartar has the chemical name Potassium bitartrate ( KC4H5O6,). It is a byproduct of winemaking and is extremely acidic do to it having a carboxylic acid functional group (ph 3.557). This acidty is useful in stabilizing meringues and creating invert sugars, which is why cream of tartar is useful to have around the house.

For my snickerdoodle recipe, I decided to substitute lemon juice for cream of tartar. Lemon juice adds both acidity and a slight lemon flavor which I prefer. The outside of the cookie is crispy and the inside is fluffy and cakey. It’s the perfect combination.

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1 3/8 c All-purpose flour
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/4 tsp of baking powder
1/2 cup of softened butter
1 tablespoon of melted margarine or butter
3/4 cup of white sugar
1 egg yolk
½ tsp of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of cream
2 tsp lemon juice (or vinegar)
2 tbs white sugar (for cinnamon sugar)
2 tsp cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth (Cream until sugar disappears, DO NOT OVERCREAM).
  4. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in dry ingredients. Mix in the cream and lemon juice.
  5. Freeze the dough for 30 minute. Combine the 2 tbs sugar with cinnamon
  6. Roll rounded teaspoons of dough into balls and coat with cinnamon sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Let stand for 2 minutes before removing to cool on a rack.