Confetti Sugar Cookies

Confetti Sugar Cookies

I was scrolling through pins on Pinterest and a photo from Deliciously Sprinkled caught my eye.  While the Funfetti cake looked absolutely delicious, I was really drawn to the color of the sprinkles she used. The colors were just so vibrant, with every color of the rainbow.  Most importantly, they don’t have any brown sprinkles which I don’t like the look or taste of.  In the post, Jenn said she bought them in bulk from Nuts.com. I haven’t heard of Nuts.com before, but I certainly had to check out these sprinkles.  Not only are they beautiful in color but they are only $2.99/pound!  I also like that these jimmies have more of a crunchy texture rather than a waxy texture like other sprinkles. I know they are only sprinkles and it’s probably silly how I talk about them like I am in love or something. But, I can’t help but get excited about new baking product finds and I had to share. I immediately ordered 2 pounds of the rainbow jimmies, a pound of nonpareils, a bunch of dried fruit and nuts. My kids especially loved the dried strawberries, dried berry mix and dark chocolate covered almonds.  There are so many things I still need to try.

So, now that I had 2 pounds of rainbow jimmies, I had to find something to make with them. I really didn’t feel like making cake or cupcakes. Instead, I decided to make these confetti cookies and they were exactly what I was looking for.  I like that there aren’t many ingredients; it’s all stuff you probably have on hand. The dough comes together easily and quickly and in no time, you have about 3 dozen delicious buttery sugar cookies. The texture of these cookies is really soft, which is a nice contrast to the sugar crust on the outside.  Sadly (embarrassingly?), we tore through all these cookies in only 2 days. And in 2 weeks, I went through a whole pound of rainbow jimmies between these confetti cookies and another super delicious frosted sugar cookie recipe that I hope to share soon.

Confetti Sugar Cookies

Yield: ~36 cookies (I got 34)

1 1/3 cup butter @ room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract   I used vanilla bean paste

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sprinkles   Jimmies don’t bleed like nonpareils (the beads)

granulated sugar for the top of the cookies   (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat

In the bowl of your KitchenAid mixer, beat together the softened butter and sugar with the paddle attachment. Continue to beat until light and fluffy ~ 3 minutes.

Beat in the 2 eggs and vanilla until completely combined.

In a small bowl, with a whisk, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing until combined and the dough comes together.

Gently fold in the sprinkles with a spatula to prevent the colors from bleeding.

With a cookie scoop, drop balls of dough on the prepared baking sheet, about 1-inch apart.

Optional step: Place about a 1/4 cup of granulated sugar in a small bowl. Roll just the top of each dough ball into the sugar  (this makes them sparkle and gives them a sweet crust)

Bake for ~11 minutes or until edges are just starting to turn golden. (Turn the cookie tray around at about 6 min). The tops will look just slightly underdone.

Cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. Transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Source:  Buns In My Oven adapted from allrecipes.com

Note: I don’t have any affiliation with Nuts.com, nor was I paid at all for this post. I just really like their products and wanted to share.

Rainbow Vanilla Whoopie Pies

Ugh.  I’ve had kind of a rough week.  So, I thought that baking something fun would cheer me up a bit.  I love vanilla whoopie pies, but I was trying to think of a way to make them different.  I thought of the rainbow donuts I made a few weeks ago and wondered why not make rainbow whoopie pies?  Perfect!  So I made up the vanilla batter, divided it into 6 bowls, and colored it.  Then, I was thinking, now what?  I figured putting them into Ziploc bags and cutting off the corner would be a good start.  Then I randomly dropped lines of batter every which way in the bottom of a dish and scooped up the batter with a cookie scoop.  But the colors got too muddy.  Darn.  So, I decided to put random dots of batter into a bowl and swirl them together with a toothpick.  Again, same problem, muddy colors.  Finally, I put the dots randomly into the bowl, left them as is and scooped.  Now I got the big patches of color that I was looking for!  It was such a fun project for me to work through, trying different things until I got what I had envisioned in my head.  And honestly, rainbow colored or not, these taste fabulous!  My husband tried them and was swearing because they were so good.  “Wow!” was all Jack could say as he stuffed his cute little face.  And, now I am happy to see them happy…though eating several whoopie pies myself probably had a hand in that as well. 😀

Rainbow Vanilla Whoopie Pies

Yield: about 24 whoopie pies

Whoopie Pie:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 tablespoons vegetable shortening

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Gel food coloring  I used Americolor (this really gives the best color)

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together.  Sift onto a large piece of wax paper.

In the bowl of a mixer with the paddle, beat the butter, shortening and both sugars on medium speed until light and creamy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs and buttermilk and beat until combined. Don’t worry if your batter looks curdled. Mine did, but then came together when I added the rest of the ingredients.

Combine the milk, baking soda, and vinegar in a small measuring cup.  With the mixer on low, add the milk mixture to the batter along with the flour mixture.  Beat just until everything is combined.  Add the vanilla and beat on medium for 2 minutes, until completely combined.  Divide the batter among 6 bowls (see helpful hints).  Add red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple food coloring until you get your desired color.  You want the colors to be really bright, so it will take quite a few drops.  I then put each color into its own Ziploc bag and cut the corner off.  Using about a 3rd of each color, I put a bunch of dots randomly into the bottom of a shallow bowl. (You have to work in batches so you don’t muddy up the colors)

Using a small spring loaded cookie scoop (1 tbsp) , carefully drag it through the dots and drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between cookies.   (I got 16 cookies per sheet.)   Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 10 minutes (start to check at 6 minutes) , or until they are set and just beginning to brown.  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the first batch is baking, clean the rainbow batter bowl and cookie scoop.  Prepare a new bowl of colored dots, the same way, with another 3rd of the batter.  Scoop as previous and place onto the prepared cookie sheet.  Clean the bowl and cookie scoop. Prepare the final bowl of rainbow batter with the last 3rd of batter.

Marshmallow filling ( I used Martha Stewart’s recipe because I prefer butter in the filling to shortening)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 jar (7 1/2 ounces) marshmallow Fluff

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add Fluff and vanilla and continue mixing until well combined.  I put the filling into a large Ziploc bag, and cut off the corner, so I could easily pipe the filling onto the bottom cookies.

Source:  Vanilla whoopie pies from Whoopie Pies: Dozens of Mix’ em, Match’em, Eat’em Up Recipes and the marshmallow filling from Martha Stewart

Helpful Hints:

  • My 1st batch I used a skewer to swirl the colors together, but it made them too muddy.  I found that the dots of colors swirled on their own just by dragging the cookie scoop through it.
  • Make sure you clean the cookie scoop when you make up each new bowl of rainbow batter. I did this in three batches to keep the colors clean.
  • Make sure your colors are very vibrant to make the colors pop.  It may require several drops of color, preferably Americolor.
  • It is inevitable that your last cookie in each bowl won’t be so pretty since the colors get so mixed together in the scraping of the bowl.  Pretty or not, it still tastes delicious!  The kids will eat the ugly ones 😀
  • The blue and purple show through the most, so it might be a good idea to make a little more batter for the red, orange and yellow so those colors come through better.

Mini rainbow vanilla bean donuts

I have a mini donut pan that I have only used once or twice.  I am really trying to make an effort to use all of the crazy, one-use baking pans I have.  I thought I would make vanilla donuts for breakfast this morning.  But, then I was thinking, what isn’t made better with the addition of vanilla bean?  Umm…nothing.  So, I threw that in too.  But, I didn’t want to make plain old vanilla donuts.  I wanted to wow my children a bit.  But how? I thought of my daughter Sammie and her favorite color, rainbow.  So, I’ll make rainbow donuts!!

I just love how these turned out.  But let me warn you, they do take a bit of time and lots of dishes.  The batter is super easy to put together, taking only minutes.  The time comes from dividing the batter into 6 colors, dying them, putting them into piping bags, piping them and then baking them.  The big problem I discovered was that I only have one pan.  I put the 12 on table and I thought my children, who usually eat like birds would each have like 2, and my husband would have the other 6.  Nope.  They inhaled them in about 1 minute.  My husband was lucky to grab one out of Sammie’s hand and pop it into his mouth before she knew what was happening.  So, then it took me awhile to get the next pan prepared for the oven and baked.  Meanwhile everyone was waiting, impatiently, and starving.  Two notes to self:  buy 2 more donut pans and do not start a project like this unless you get up way before everyone else.  But, let me say these were delicious donuts.  They were so light and fluffy.  And, the vanilla bean gave them the perfect extra shot of vanilla flavor.  So, while these may take a bit of extra time and effort, these donuts will be a delicious, showstopping breakfast for your children.  And, based on Sammie and Jack’s happy faces, I must say, time well spent. 😀

Mini rainbow vanilla bean donuts

Donut batter:

2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. butter, melted
Seeds from one vanilla bean

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray donut pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In large mixing bowl, sift together all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds and butter and beat until just combined.  I divided the batter into 6 bowls and colored them with Americolor gels – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple.

Scrape each colored batter into a separate small sandwich bag.  I put each bag into a small glass for support.  Cut a small hole from the corner of the red bag and press gently to place a big dot of batter into the well.  Do the same with the orange.  The red will have spread a bit, so place the orange so it overlaps by about 1/2.  Continue around the well with yellow, green, blue and ending with the purple to complete the donut.  They should be about half full.

Bake 4-8 minutes or until the top of the donuts spring back when touched. Let cool in pan for 4–5 minutes before removing. Finish doughnuts with vanilla glaze. Doughnuts are best served fresh.

 
Vanilla glaze
1 cup confectioner’ s sugar
1 tbsp whole milk   I used heavy cream, but I had to add almost 4 tbsp to get it to the consistency I wanted.
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Food coloring optional
sprinkles   optional

In small bowl, stir together sugar, milk (or heavy cream- start with 1Tbsp, and slowly add more until you get the right consistency) and vanilla extract until sugar is completely dissolved.  If using, add food coloring and stir until color is uniform.  Use immediately to glaze doughnuts.  Sprinkle on nonpareils if using.

Source: Sprinkle Bakes

rainbow donuts tray

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