Confetti Cookies

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What kid doesn’t love sprinkles? My 2yo? Obsessed. She loves getting cookies with sprinkles at this Italian bakery down the street called, Artuso’s. So when I saw this post on confetti cookies from smitten kitchen (an amazing food blog, by the way), I knew I had to try them.

This recipe reminds me of the Pillsbury funfetti cookie I made as a teenager. The funfetti cookie recipe was on the side of the cake box and one day, I decided to try them. They were so good.

Well, these are probably 1000x better.

I’m really not a fan of sugar cookies. Personally, I find them too sweet. These are not ridiculously sweet – just sweet enough, and I think the addition of almond extract adds this little tiny hint of complexity that I don’t normally find in an average sugar cookie. If you’re not a fan of almond extract, you can certainly omit. If for some odd reason you only think you don’t like almond extract (like my dear husband), give it a try. Trust me.

I also really like that there is an option to use cold butter and cream cheese vs room temperature. How great is that?! Lately when baking, I’ve had this horrible tendency of  pulling butter out only to realize much later that I’m past the room temperature stage! How sad is that? Do you know what happens when you use too soft butter when baking? I promise you, it’s not a good thing. It’s actually very, very disappointing.

If you have a toddler or little kid or big kid or even a kid at heart, definitely give these a go.

Ingredients

  • 3c (375 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp fine sea or table salt
  • 1c (8 ounces, 225 grams or 2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/4c (2 ounces, 55 grams or 1/4 of an 8-ounce brick) cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 c (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 a vanilla bean, split and scraped (see Note up top)
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (optional, but highly recommended)
  • 1c rainbow sprinkles

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking large sheets with parchment paper.
  2. You have a couple options here:
    1. 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. Or:
    2. 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.
  3. Scoop balls of dough — smitten kitchen recommends 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.
  4. Transfer balls of sprinkle-coated dough to baking sheets at least two inches apart.
  5. 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.
  6. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes until they look under baked but lightly golden underneath. [If they’re not quite soft in the center, they will be fully crisped through the next day.]
  7. 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.

This yields 4 dozen 2 1/2 inch cookies

Additional Notes

For the sprinkles, smitten kitchen actually bought several colors to get her beautiful mix of sprinkles. (They’re gorgeous, right??) I used these rainbow jimmies from Wilton. It’s what I had on-hand (my daughter lovers them sprinkled on top of her yogurt or ice cream). I am also tempted to try baking these cookies plain, then half dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with these rainbow nonpareils.

These cookies freeze really well. I would recommend going down to step 5 (sprinkles and flattening with the bottom of a drinking glass) prior to freezing. This way, all you need to do is pop them in the oven frozen, adjust baking time accordingly, and you’re good to go. 🙂

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