Blue Bottle Coffee’s Saffron Snickerdoodles

by Jun 20, 2022

When I lived on the SF Peninsula I would get to the city as frequently as possible to enjoy time at my favorite bakeries and coffee places…dreaming about what “working in food” would mean for me. I dreamed through my single-girl years, my dink years, and pushed my baby’s stroller around the new Ferry Plaza Marketplace in a dreamstate. Eventually I realized that “you don’t get too many 20-year chunks” and changed everything which meant goodbye Oracle and hello Montana. This year marks 10 years post leap-of-faith and I can think of no finer commemorative treat than Caitlin Freeman’s dreamy and delicious Saffron Snickerdoodle, from Blue Bottle’s book and blog.

What I like best about these cookies is their texture, somewhat cakey but when you bake them just the right amount—beginning to brown at the edges but still soft in the center—they will buckle when you remove the pan from the oven and give it a shallow drop on the stovetop.

Blue Bottle Coffee's Saffron Snickerdoodles

makes 1 dozen; adapted from Blue Bottle Coffee blog, September 14, 2017


  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads ground to yield about ⅛ teaspoon
  • ½ vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise with a knife or use ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ cup unsalted butter 113 grams
  • ½ cup granulated sugar 100 grams
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar 109 grams
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 280 grams
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  1. Crush saffron threads with a small mortar and pestle until powdery.

  2. Add milk, vanilla bean (if using), and saffron to a small saucepan and heat over low heat. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes. After, remove vanilla bean, scrape seeds with a knife and add back to the milk, discarding the pod.

  3. Cream butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.

  4. Add egg, vanilla extract (if using), milk-saffron and mix until combined. Add flour, baking soda, and salt; mix until combined. Chill dough in refrigerator for 3 hours minimum or up to 5 days.

  5. Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a 2-tablespoon-scoop, scoop dough balls and place 8 per half-sheet pan. Bake 14–16 minutes until beginning to turn golden brown at edges.

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