Originating in 19th-century New England, this whimsically named cookie has a characteristically crackly surface and can be either crisp or soft. The dough sometimes contains nutmeg and cinnamon as well as raisins and nuts. Traditionally, snickerdoodles are sprinkled with cinnamon sugar before being baked. The name appears to have no particular meaning or purpose . . . other than fun.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.