1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
2 3/4 cups white flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup white sugar
2-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger, ground allspice, ground cloves, ground cardamom (optional)
In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and butter, until smooth.
Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until well incorporated.
In another large bowl, mix together the salt, cream of tartar, baking soda and flour.
If more cinnamon flavor is desired, mix 1-2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon into the flour. Other flavorings include ground ginger, cloves and cardamom.
Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and mix until the dough becomes smooth.
Refrigerate or freeze for one to two hours, until the dough is very firm.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a shallow bowl, mix 1/3 cup of sugar and ground cinnamon and other ground spices if using (ginger, allspice, cardamom, etc.).
Shape the dough into quarter- to half-dollar-sized balls
Roll the balls, one at a time, in the cinnamon-sugar. Repeat if desired. Place the balls on baking sheet.
Bake for eight minutes.