When I first started baking by myself, at the ripe age of 12, Snickerdoodles frustrated me to no end.
No matter how many batches I made, I could never get them right. Even worse, I had a friend at school who made the most perfect Snickerdoodles you’d ever taste. So not only were mine ending up tasting like cardboard, burnt, or just plain bad, I had the “Snickerdoodle Queen” to compete with.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. And no, we didn’t have “Snickerdoodle Bake-Offs”. Truthfully, I was the only one actually aware of the competition between us. She figured she was just bringing everyone cookies during Science Class; while I sat there stewing in my seat, trying to figure out why my cookies never turned out as planned.
Before I create each recipe for Skinny Sweet Treats, I usually spend at least an hour researching. This usually involves searching for Gluten Free requirements, necessary ingredients to create the desired taste, and possible switches for unhealthy ingredients. By now, I’ve gotten pretty good at decided what ingredients to switch out (ex. oats for flour, coconut oil for butter, etc.), but a lot of the time it just depends on trial and error. For instance, when I first wrote this recipe out, I included applesauce, which I later nixed because the cookies didn’t need it to reach the desired consistency.
However, for this recipe I discovered that one of the key ingredients in order to prevent them from tasting like baking soda is cream of tartar. While baking powder is neutral, and therefore usually doesn’t have a strong taste, baking soda is a base and can taste very bitter. So when added to a recipe made with baking soda, cream of tartar increases the acidity, therefore neutralizing the taste created by the baking soda.
Another necessity in any recipe for Snickerdoodles that I discovered is vanilla. And not just your usual 1/2 tsp, but a whole teaspoon of the flavoring. This definitely gives them a sweeter taste, and also helps prevent that cardboard-like taste I always struggled with avoiding.
Finally, of course, we come to the cinnamon-sugar coating. No matter how heathy you want to be, you can’t exclude this necessary aspect. Snickerdoodles are famous for their cinnamon-y taste, so coating them with 1/2 tsp of cinnamon as well as 2 whole tbs of sugar gives them this delectable flavor, and also mimics the texture of classic unhealthy Snickerdoodles.
So while the “Snickerdoodle Queen” may have ruled the tastebuds of my fellow middle schoolers, the few tricks I learned in creating this recipe made the result about 100x better than any I made at 12 years old. In fact, healthy Snickerdoodles may just give my middle school pal a run for her money.
Or, at the very least, satisfy any sweet tooth in less than 70 calories! 😉
Gluten Free Snickerdoodles
- 1 3/4 c old fashioned oats
- 1/2 tbs flax seeds
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 c melted coconut oil
- 3/4 c stevia
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbs white sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°F. Process 1 3/4 c oats and flax seeds in a blender or food processor. Combine with baking soda and cream of tartar in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, combine melted coconut oil and stevia and mix until smooth. Add egg and vanilla extract. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Lightly grease two cookie sheets. Combine the white sugar and cinnamon and pour onto a small plate. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls. Roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place two inches apart on a baking sheet and flatten sightly with the bottom of a glass. Sprinkle with any remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information (from myfitnesspal.com)
(Yields 1 1/2 dozen/18 cookies)