SMiLes by Meg

Old-Fashioned Snickerdoodles

This past Thursday marked my first official day as a law student. Yes, it is still orientation. And yes, my current obligations include things like free food truck lunches and a tour of the Sam Adams Brewery tomorrow. But, I did succeed in arriving to orientation without Harvard informing me that they had made some horrific mistake by sending me communications for the past couple of months indicating they would like me to attend, which is a pretty big win in my book.

Now, the law is one of those professions that have been around forever, and studying the law kind of makes you feel like you should be smoking cigars and drinking scotch in a wood paneled library. However, that is not actually appealing to me, as I prefer sunshine and sweets. My solution: “Old-Fashioned” Snickerdoodles.

They are the snickerdoodles you know and love, with their light texture and cinnamon spice, brought to a new place by including bourbon and orange zest as a nod to the classic cocktail. Snickerdoodles are something I usually associate with later in the fall, but some of my classmates were having a picnic, and I decided the orange zest was just enough citrus to make them acceptable in the late summer.

The recipe is inspired by Boozy Baker, with a couple of adjustments based on ingredients I had on hand. I don’t know what it says about me that that is my go-to cookbook when I’m baking for new friends for the first time, but said friends approved, so I stand by the decision.

First, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set aside."Old Fashioned" Snickerdoodles - 1In a stand mixer, beat together the butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar on medium speed using the paddle attachment until light and fluffy."Old Fashioned" Snickerdoodles - 2"Old Fashioned" Snickerdoodles - 3Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition."Old Fashioned" Snickerdoodles - 4"Old Fashioned" Snickerdoodles - 5Next, beat in the bourbon, orange zest, nutmeg, and cloves. The original recipe called for bitters rather than the nutmeg and cloves, but I didn’t have any and was sad the spices weren’t included, so I just gave about 5 light shakes of each into the bowl instead. Bitters would be a similar flavor, though, if you have a better stocked bar than I."Old Fashioned" Snickerdoodles - 6"Old Fashioned" Snickerdoodles - 7With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in parts, beating until well combined."Old Fashioned" Snickerdoodles - 8At this point, if your kitchen is warm and the dough is soft, it’s helpful to put the dough in the freezer for 15 minutes so that it’s easier to work with. In the meantime, you can combine the remaining three tablespoons of sugar with the cinnamon in a small prep dish and either line the cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray them with cooking spray.

When you are ready to move on, roll the dough into one inch balls, roll in the cinnamon mixture, and place about two inches apart on the baking sheet. Flatten each with the bottom of a glass."Old Fashioned" Snickerdoodles - 9"Old Fashioned" Snickerdoodles - 10Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes, or until edges are golden and middle still looks soft. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet."Old Fashioned" Snickerdoodles - 11Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. When cool, store them in an airtight container.

"Old Fashioned" Snickerdoodles - 13

“Old-Fashioned” Snickerdoodles


  • 2 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups + 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • a couple dashes of nutmeg and cloves, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  4. Add the bourbon, nutmeg, cloves, and orange zest, beating well to combine.
  5. With the mixer on low, add the flour in small additions, increasing speed to medium and beating until completely combined.
  6. Freeze dough for 15 minutes before handling.
  7. In a small prep dish, stir together the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon.
  8. Roll the dough into one inch balls, roll in cinnamon mixture to cover, and place about two inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten with bottom of a drinking glass.
  9. Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes, or until edges are golden and middle remains soft.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool on pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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