Snickerdoodle cookies

Bake it Forward with Snickerdoodles

Recreational Lead Chef Tracy Wilk started a movement baking for essential workers during New York City's pandemic shutdown, starting with this cookie recipe.

The most common question I get as a chef is, “what is your favorite thing to make?” My answer has always been cookies. I love to make cookies because whenever you show up with a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies, you are greeted with a smile. Cookies bring joy, and finding that spark of happiness in the darkest of times has always been my secret talent. I have been able to bring joy to New Yorkers during COVID-19 through food, my form of giving back.

There has never been a better time to work as a community. We have all seen the power of action in our neighborhoods, while social distancing has led to isolation. I have always loved to bake for others, and I have been able to help my neighborhood out by sharing joy with food.

As the reality of COVID-19 set in, I really wanted to help out. The only medical training I have had is watching "Grey’s Anatomy," and I knew I had to put my culinary skills to use. Through social media, I connected with local healthcare workers, and I baked and packed up some cookies for them. From there, a movement called Bake it Forward has started.

Bake it Forward is all about spreading joy through food and building a community. I have been able to thank our health care heroes, first responders and grocery store workers by sharing my favorite baked goods. I have had many roles in the food industry, and this one has been the most rewarding. What I have loved the most is hearing from my ICE recreational students. Many have reached out to say that they, too, are baking it forward in their neighborhoods. It feels like we’re together, and seeing them put the skills that I taught them to use to share with others has been such an honor. I look forward to the day when I get back into a full classroom at ICE and share a meal with my students, but until then, I will continue baking for others.

This is the first recipe that I made for Bake it Forward, and I hope you use it to share joy with your community.



Yields approx. 24 cookies


  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon sugar, as needed for garnish (1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two half-sheet trays with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle (or an electric hand mixer works great!), cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar. You want to mix on medium-high speed until the butter is fluffy and there are no lumps. This will take about 4-6 minutes, depending on the temperature of the butter, making sure to stop and scrape the sides often.
  4. Once the ingredients are creamed, stream your eggs into the creamed butter, mixing until well combined. Add vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  5. Add your dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  6. Scoop cookies using a cookie scoop and toss into the cinnamon sugar. Place onto the half-sheet trays, leaving room for the cookies to spread.
  7. Bake for 9-12 minutes, until the centers are cooked through. Allow cookies to cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from sheet tray.

Meet more chefs in the ICE community giving back:
Rethink Food NYC and Little Tong Noodle Shop Coordinate Food Response
Macaron Parlour Makes Masks for Online Orders

Pastry & Baking Arts  Classes with Chef Tracy

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