I haven’t posted a baking post in a while…and I am starting back with sprinkles. Yay!
I grew up vacationing in Michigan. To this day, it’s still one of my most favorite places to vacation…mostly nostalgia but also, Michigan just has something about it. One of the traditions when visiting, is going to a small local Italian-American bakery there and I would always get some of their sprinkle cookies. Sadly, we won’t be able to make it to Michigan this year. That didn’t stop me from craving those sprinkle cookies though, and luckily I saw Smitten Kitchen post her recipe for them and my day got a lot better.
I really enjoyed these cookies (and so did my family). They were actually softer than the ones I get at the bakery in Michigan, which if I am honest, are too hard. Memories have a way of canceling out taste buds and replacing them with warm fuzzies.
I have included the recipe below for convenience (copy and paste, so some things might be out of context) but have included my tweaks to this recipe in the notes section. For the original and more, make sure you go here.
*Important note, I am not a food photographer, or stylist. All food pictures are taken in a 125+ year old kitchen that experienced an unfortunate update in the 90s.
Smitten Kitchen's Confetti Cookies
- 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
- 1 cup (8 ounces, 225 grams or 2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces, 55 grams or 1/4 of an 8-ounce brick) cream cheese
- 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 a vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- 1 cup rainbow sprinkles
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking large sheets with parchment paper.
To make in a food processor: Place flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the work bowl and pulse a few times to blend. Add butter and cream cheese in large chunks, plus sugar and blend until mixture is powdery. Add egg, vanilla and almond extracts and run machine until the dough balls together. You’ll probably need to scrape it down once or twice to get the mixture even.
To make with an electric mixer: Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and whisk to blend. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and extracts and blend again. Add flour mixture and beat just until flour disappears. In some cases, this dough will feel too soft to roll into balls in your hands; if so, let it chill in the fridge for 20 minutes or so before using.
Both methods: Scoop balls of dough — I like these cookies best with a #40, or 1 1/2 tablespoon, scoop; the texture is less dynamic when made smaller — and roll them briefly in the palms of your hands before dropping them in a bowl of rainbow sprinkles and gently rolling to coat them evenly. I find that the sprinkles adhere much better to tacky exterior of balls of dough that have been briefly warmed by your hands — trust me here.
Transfer balls of sprinkle-coated dough to baking sheets at least two inches apart. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press down on the cookies until they are about 1/4 to 1/2-inch tall. If you see any bare spots in the sprinkles that bother you, you can sprinkle a few more on top. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes until they look underbaked but lightly golden underneath. [If they’re not quite soft in the center, they will be fully crisped through the next day.] Let set on the baking sheet on a rack for a few minutes before transferring to cooling racks to cool the rest of the way. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.
My Tweaks : I used a large scoop (3tbsp) which cut the yield from 4 dozen to 2. I used 1/8 tsp of almond extract instead of 1/4 tsp because almond extract is one powerful flavor, but I might try the full 1/4 next time. I used 1.5 cups of rainbow sprinkles due to cookie size. Since the cookies were larger, I also let them cook 11 minutes instead of 9 to 10.