The 2001 edition of the "Betty Crocker Cookbook" notes that snickerdoodle cookies originated in the New England region of the United States in the 1800s. The name, snickerdoodle, traces its origin to a New England tradition for assigning whimsical names to cookies. Other cookies that have not survived include plunkets, cry babies, jolly boys and kinkawoodles.
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A 2.5-inch snickerdoodle contains 90 calories. Thirty-five percent of the calories in snickerdoodles come from fat, including 1 g of saturated fat and 10 mg of cholesterol. A single snickerdoodle also contains 1 g of protein and 13 g of carbohydrate, none of it in the form of dietary fiber.
Snickerdoodles obtain their distinctive tart flavor from cream of tartar, a white powder that precipitates out of grape juice and wine. Snickerdoodles are rolled or sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar prior to baking, resulting in a distinctive light brown crackled finish.
For the purpose of diet exchanges, snickerdoodles count as 1 starch and 1/2 fat. Comparable alternatives include sugar cookies, oatmeal cookies, gingerbread cookies and biscotti. Chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies contain more fat and calories. Meringues contain less.