Apparently, snickerdoodles are everyone’s favorite type of cookie.  A while back, a close friend of mine suggested I make them.  He immediately scanned the recipe he uses, and emailed it to me — so I tried it.  For some reason, the first batch didn’t turn out so well, as far as my snickerdoodle standards go (the UC Santa Barbara DLG made bomb snickerdoodles).  There were a number of possible explanations for my less-than-perfect snickerdoodles: I was short on butter, skeptical about using white sugar in brown cookies, and slightly delirious from the previous weekend.  The cookies came out a little too crunchy, a little too light in color, and not so melt-in-your-mouthy.
So, for the second attempt, I opted to substitute brown sugar for a portion of the white sugar to help with the color, and I made sure I had enough butter on hand to fix the consistency.  Here we go, thanks Pat!

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 medium-sized egg
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 tablespoons coarse, white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
First, combine the brown sugar and white sugar, and cream it with the butter.  For those of you who don’t know, creaming the butter means to mix the butter and sugar together evenly, to the point where it forms a very smooth mixture.  The easiest way to do this is with an electronic mixer, but if you are short-handed with kitchen equipment, you can do it by hand, and work on your forearm muscles while you are at it.  By hand, mix the sugars together first, then take a form and smash the softened butter against the sides of the bowl.  Once the butter is broken down, stir and mix with the sugar very briskly, until the mixture is even and smooth.
In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients (flour, salt, cream of tartar, baking soda) and mix until even.  Add the egg, vanilla extract, and creamed mixture, and stir until the dough is consistent.  Then, roll into 1-inch balls.  Combine the 2 tablespoons sugar with the ground cinnamon, and coat each ball of dough in the mixture.  Then place on a baking sheet, each two inches apart.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes at 375 degrees.