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.
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Soft Red Velvet Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Soft red velvet sugar cookies with cream cheese frosting

February is my month to host the group, What’s Baking.  With Valentine’s Day and all, I thought red velvet would be appropriate.  I don’t think I have ever made anything red velvet. I’m really not sure why. But, it’s been on my baking to do list for a long time, so let’s cross this one off.

I had a hard time figuring out what to bake. Brownies, cookies, cake, cupcakes?  So, many to choose from. But, if you’ve been here before, you know my family’s love for soft, frosted sugar cookies. You know, the Lofthouse style ones? I finally came across these red velvet cookies with cream cheese frosting and immediately knew they were it.  Have you ever visited the blog Cooking Classy?  If not, you totally should.  Jaclyn’s pictures are just beautiful and everything she bakes looks amazing.  I can’t tell you how many things I’ve pinned.  Now, I just need to find the time…

These cookies were easy enough to make.  But, I think I should have used regular cocoa versus the Dutch processed.  The color would have been more red and a bit less muddled. But, I guess that’s just aesthetics and I need to get over it. For Jaclyn’s cookies, it looks like she frosted them by hand. I can never make my cookies look nice that way, so I chose to pipe them instead.  I pulled out like 10 different colors of sprinkles, but I loved the white against the white frosting.  Then, I decided white sprinkles weren’t enough, so I added some disco dust for sparkle. Disco dust…say what?  I have never heard of it before either. It’s edible glitter and it will make your cookies look beautiful.

The verdict? My husband and kids absolutely loved them. I had 21 cookies yesterday and only 4 today.  These cookies are really soft, with just a hint of chocolate which pairs perfectly with the sweet cream cheese frosting.  If you haven’t made anything red velvet, or you have and you’re crazy for it, make these cookies. You’ll love them. Promise.  Another keeper for me.

Stay tuned for the round up of all the yummy red velvet desserts….I can’t wait to see what everyone made!

Whats Baking Badge

Soft Red Velvet Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield:  16 cookies ( I got 21)

Cookies:

2 1/4 cups cake flour

3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder    I used Valrhona Dutched

2 tsp cornstarch

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup softened unsalted butter

1/4 cup vegetable shortening  I like Crisco sticks- more accurate and less mess

1 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 large egg white

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract   (I used 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp vanilla paste)

1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar

Red food coloring   I used ~ 1.5 tsp of AmeriColor Super Red Gel Paste

Sprinkles,  if desired.

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened (I used unsalted and added a pinch of salt)

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder and salt until well combined.  Although the directions didn’t say, I sifted the mixture because my cocoa was lumpy. Set aside the flour mixture.

In the bowl of your KitchenAid mixer, blend the butter, shortening and sugar with the paddle attachment until light-colored and fluffy, ~ 3 minutes.  Mix in the egg, then the egg white, vanilla, vinegar (or lemon juice) and food coloring.

With your mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients. Mix just until combined.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to make sure every last bit is incorporated.

Cover your mixing bowl with plastic wrap. Chill x 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Remove the dough from the fridge. Shape the dough into ~ 3 Tbsp balls. I got 8 cookies per sheet. Grease or lightly wet your hands and press the dough down to about 1/2-inch high.

Bake ~9 to 11 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheet halfway through the bake time.  Remove the sheet from the oven and cool the cookies on the baking sheet ~2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

In the bowl of your KitchenAid, with the whisk attachment, whip the cream cheese and butter until light-colored and fluffy.  Blend in the vanilla. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, blending until well combined and fluffy. I added about 1 tsp half and half to thin the frosting out a bit to make piping easier. 

Source:  Cooking Classy

Soft red velvet cookies with cream cheese frosting

Sprinkles Cookies

Sprinkle cookies

Hello!  I’m sorry to have been gone so long.  I’ve really missed you and my blog….and I just had to share these sprinkles cookies from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.  I was scanning through Pinterest and the cuteness of these cookies caught my eye.  You know I’m always a sucker for sprinkles. Reading through the recipe, I was intrigued by the buttery sweet dough emulsion it called for.  Have you ever heard of this?  No?  Me neither.  Kristan said you could find it at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby, but I could not.  And, while she said the ingredient was optional, it was not going to be for me.  I get my mind set on something and that’s it, it’s happening.  So, I just ordered it on Amazon and thank goodness with Prime I only had to wait 2 days.  Was it worth it?  Yes!  I loved the flavor it gave the cookies.  It’s the flavor of bakery cookies, you know the one you just can’t put your finger on and can’t seem to replicate? This is it.

At first, I thought these cookies were too sweet and I was disappointed. But, I swear, overnight some magical transformation took place and they were just perfect.  The cookie is buttery and soft.  The glaze hardens, adding sweetness and serving as glue for all those crunchy sprinkles.  My kids and husband went crazy for these, eating a fistful at a time.  I got about 50 adorable cookies, but that was not nearly enough. These cookies barely made it a day in this sugar-cookie-loving house.  Note to self: double recipe next time, okay?

Sprinkles Cookies

Yield: ~ 3 dozen ( I got 50)

Cookies

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp buttery sweet dough emulsion  optional

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Glaze:

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup water

1/2 tsp almond or vanilla extract  – clear if you want white glaze

3 oz jar rainbow nonpareils

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of your Kitchenaid, beat butter and sugar, on medium, until light and fluffy, ~ 3 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla, and buttery sweet dough emulsion, if using. Beat until combined.

On low, slowly add the flour mixture. Mix until a smooth dough forms.

Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour minimum.  I took the dough out of the bowl, shaped it into a thick rectangle and wrapped it in Saran Wrap.

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness on lightly floured counter or pastry mat. I found this dough to be crazy sticky- be liberal with the flour.  

Cut using a 2 1/2 inch round cutter. I used a 2 1/4 inch scalloped cutter.  Place on baking sheet ~1 inch apart. They don’t spread so you can fit a lot of cookies on a sheet.

Bake for 6 minutes. Watch carefully. There should be little to no color.  Remove and let cool completely on wire rack.

For the glaze:

In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, water and vanilla extract until smooth.  You may need to add water to get the glaze consistency you want.

Dip the cookies in the glaze face down, letting the excess drip off.

Place the dipped cookies on a wire rack set over wax paper and sprinkle liberally. Let set for about an hour before serving.

Source:  Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

Sprinkles cookies

Cake Batter Sugar Cookies

I think I was flipping through the pages of foodgawker when I came across these cake batter sugar cookies.  I love anything cake batter and you already know how I feel about sprinkles.  So, I definitely needed these in my life.  I went to make them a few days ago and as I was scanning through the ingredients, I saw butter extract listed.  Hmmm…I know I don’t have that for sure.  I figured I would just substitute in vanilla, but upon reading further into the recipe, the butter extract is what gives the cookies the cake batter flavor.  While that make sense, damn, I really wanted to make these cookies, but, not so bad that I wanted to take all three kids to the grocery store for just that one item.  So, sadly, they would have to wait.  Instead I made soft frosted sugar cookies, which were absolutely fabulous, but I still had these cookies on my mind.  Last night, my husband came home from work early and I was able to sneak out to the store after we tag teamed dinner, homework, baths, tuck-ins, goodnight kisses and dream rubs. 😀  Honestly, I’ve never seen butter extract, so I was afraid it might be hard to find.  But, Dominick’s came through.  In case you are wondering, it’s right by the vanilla.

Other than the butter extract, the batter is made up of the usual sugar cookie ingredients.  The dough is pretty stiff and I found it difficult to incorporate more than 1/3 cup of the 1/2 cup of sprinkles called for in the recipe. But, this is still a lot of sprinkles, considering they are then rolled in more sprinkles.  Can one have too many sprinkles?  No, the answer is definitely no. The recipe makes only 24 mini adorable cookies which is perfect for a fun after school snack or a lunchbox treat.  The cookies are bit crisp on the outside and soft and rich tasting on the inside.  I was kind of surprised by how much these cookies actually tasted like cake batter.  My kids loved them, but that is no surprise.

Cake Batter Sugar Cookies

Yield: 24 little cookies

4 tbsp (1/4 cup) butter, softened to room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg yolk

1/2 tsp butter extract

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup colorful sprinkles   I used a scant 1/3 cup of jimmies…the dough didn’t seem to be able to hold anymore.

1/4 cup sprinkles, for rolling    I used nonpareils

Preheat oven to 350F. Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the butter and sugar together on medium.  Beat in the  yolk, butter extract, baking powder, and salt.  Gradually add in the flour and mix until a thick dough forms.  Fold in the jimmies, up to 1/2 cup, with a spatula.

Roll the dough into teaspoon size balls.  I found that holding the dough ball in my hand for about 5 seconds warmed the butter, making them easier to roll.  You want the ball to be more tall than wide, so the cookie will be thicker. Roll the dough balls into the reserved nonpareils.  Bake for 9-10 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway into the cooking time. Watch them closely at about 8 minutes to make sure they don’t get to brown.  The cookie should stay pretty white, with just a bit of browning on the underside.  If you find they aren’t flattening, you might have to press on them super lightly at the 6 minute mark.

Allow cookies to cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheets, so they set, before transferring them to a cookie rack to cool completely

Source: very slightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

A few notes:

  • If you want a softer cookie, you can sub cake flour for all-purpose
  • If you find they aren’t flattening, you might have to press on them very lightly with a spatula halfway through baking.
  • I was only able to get about 1/3 cup of sprinkles into the dough or it didn’t seem like they would roll/hold together.  This was plenty.
  • According to the recipe, butter extract is the key to the cake batter flavor.  If you have to sub, the next closest thing would be almond extract.  Vanilla would still be good, it just wouldn’t taste like cake batter.

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

If you haven’t noticed already, my family loves soft cookies, frosted, with pretty sprinkles.  So, I tend to make lots of different recipes fitting these three criteria.  I actually made the original recipe for these cookies about a year ago, and while they were good, the frosting was a bit too thin for my taste.  In this house, we like lots of frosting, especially when it is piped on all pretty like.  But, it wasn’t possible with this particular frosting recipe as written.  I suppose I could have added more powdered sugar.  But with the melted butter instead of softened butter in the recipe, I think I would have had to add lots of it, changing the taste of the frosting.  When I saw these soft frosted cookies on my beloved Pinterest (Gosh, sorry, I know I am obsessed), I knew this was exactly the recipe I was looking for.  It uses the same, soft vanilla flavored base but then the cookie is frosted with a thick, pipeable, buttercream frosting.  I mean, you gotta love those perfect swirls of frosting. Okay, maybe not so perfect.  I just realized I need to work on that.

Originally I had something else planned to make this morning, but I decided today was the kind of day that could use some uplifting from sprinkles.  It just isn’t possible to see this bright colored confetti and not smile.  Especially if it is the topping to a big, fat sugar cookie, with so much frosting it is almost too much…Almost. 😀  These are so delicious, they put those always enticing grocery store cookies to shame.  Sorry Lofthouse, we don’t need you anymore.

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

For the Cookie:

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

4 1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

5 tsp vanilla extract

Sift together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt.   I didn’t sift. Instead I mixed it and fluffed it well with a whisk. 

Add the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat them together with the paddle on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy, ~ 2-3 minutes

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the bowl as needed.  Blend in the vanilla.

With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the dry ingredients.  Mix just until incorporated and evenly mixed.

Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour.  Preheat the oven to 350F about 20 minutes before removing the dough from the fridge.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, scoop a scant 1/4 cup of dough (I used a medium cookie scoop) and roll into a ball.

Flatten the ball slightly with your fingers and place on baking sheet lined with parchment.

Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies at least 2-3 inches apart to allow for some spreading.

Bake at 350°F for about 10-12 minutes or just until set.  Do not overbake!  The edges should be no more than very lightly browned (if at all).  The cookies should stay very white in color on top, with some browning on the underside.

Let cool on the baking sheet for several minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted   I did not and it was fine

1/8 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

Food coloring   optional

Sprinkles  optional

In a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed with the whisk attachment, until smooth, ~ about 20 seconds

Add confectioners’ sugar and salt.  Beat on medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, ~ 45 seconds

Scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Beat on medium speed until mixture is fully combined, ~ 15 seconds

Scrape bowl again and add vanilla. Beat on medium speed until incorporated, ~10 seconds.  Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, ~ 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice as needed.

If you want too add in the food coloring do so now.  Mix until it is well combined and one solid color.  I find it easiest to put the frosting in a Ziplock bag and pipe it on.  Add the sprinkles and let dry for a few hours for the frosting to set.

Source:  Cookies from Deliciously Declassifed, as seen on Annie’s Eats, originally from Hostess with the Mostess  and the buttercream frosting is from Deliciously Declassified, originally from Cook’s Illustrated.

Funfetti mini pancake muffins

My kids love those little Hostess chocolate chip muffins that come 5 packs to a box for over $4.00.  My son will eat 2 packs each morning for breakfast and that gets expensive.  So, I only buy them when they are buy 1 get 1 free and then I buy like 8 boxes.  But, when I run out, these pancake muffins are the perfect replacement.  I think they taste very similar to the Hostess muffins, but better of course because they are homemade.  Usually I make them with mini chocolate chips because they are Jack’s favorite.  But, I thought it would be fun to change things up a bit and replace the chips with sprinkles to make Funfetti mini muffins.

I decided to surprise my daughter with breakfast for lunch with these muffins.  But, of course Sammie didn’t want muffins.  She wanted turkey.  No bread, just turkey.  Okay then.  So the baby and I ate the muffins, dusted with powdered sugar and dipped in maple syrup.  Alex tore them up.  After Sammie finished her turkey, she decided she would try a muffin…then another and another and another.  She had to make sure they were okay, quality control you know. 😀   I love these muffins too.  They are fluffy, a bit sweet from the maple syrup and sugar, and they really taste like pancakes without all the work.  And now, not only do they taste great, but they are super fun, Funfetti.  Sprinkles makes everything better.  Don’t you think?

Funfetti mini pancake muffins

Yield: 24 mini muffins

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup of sprinkles- jimmies (you can adjust depending on how many you like)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a mini muffin pan really well with nonstick spray.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a medium bowl.  Whisk together the dry ingredients.

In another bowl, stir together the buttermilk, egg, maple syrup and melted butter just until combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir with a spatula just until combined.

Stir in the sprinkles.  Bake for 8 to 9 minutes.

Let cool slightly in the pan.  You may need to use a spoon around the edges to separate the pancake muffins from the pan.

Serve immediately dusted with powder sugar or with just maple syrup.

Source:  Bakerella

Homemade Funfetti Sandwich Cookies

I have to say, I am glad summer is almost over. It has been so crazy hot here in Chicago, it was really hard to do anything outdoors.  With the end of summer, of course, comes the kids going back to school.  My daughter Sammie was excited to start kindergarten (okay, excited to ride the bus) and my son Jack, just started 2nd grade.  Jack is not a big fan of hot lunch, probably because he is so darn picky.  Since he won’t eat most of what I make, he sure isn’t going to eat cafeteria food.  So, Jack brings the same plain old turkey sandwich (no cheese, can this really be my son?) everyday, a bag of chips and a dessert. When I saw these cookies on Pink Parsley, I knew it would be a fun dessert that he would love and maybe for a second, know that I was thinking of him as he ate it.

The dough is like the usual sugar cookie recipe, but the addition of cake flour makes these cookies a bit softer.  The dough is pretty sticky, so you’ll have to allow at least one half hour of refrigeration before scooping and baking the cookies.  Once the cookies cool, you make a delicious butter cream that you can either spread on with a knife or pipe on.  Personally, I find piping to be much easier and it’s prettier too. When Jack got home from school, he couldn’t wait until tomorrow. He just had to try a cookie now. I think I counted a dozen Mmmms before I stopped counting.  And, I can’t forget my Sammie. She loved them too, especially the pink frosting.  Since she is in kindergarten, we get to have lunch together everyday, usually Rice-A-Roni at her request.  Well, besides her company, at least now I have dessert to look forward to.

Homemade Funfetti Sandwich Cookies

Yield: I got 48 cookies, 24 sandwiches

The cookie:

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened to room temperature

1 1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp melted butter

1 egg + 1 egg yolk

2 cups cake flour

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup colored sprinkles

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle, cream the butter and the sugar on medium until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the vanilla, melted butter, whole egg and yolk. Mix until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary.

Combine the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing on low until just combined.  Fold in the sprinkles with a spatula.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F.  Using a small cookie scoop, drop the dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart to allow for spreading. Bake 10-12 minutes (rotating the pans halfway through) until they are just starting to brown on the bottom and are barely firm on top.  Cool the cookies 5-10 minutes on the baking sheet, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: Slightly adapted from Pink Parsley, originally from Yammy’s Noshery

The frosting:

1 1/4 sticks (10 Tbsp) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted   I didn’t sift and it was fine

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp heavy cream

1/3 cup colored sprinkles  I omitted and chose to color the frosting pink instead

Food coloring  optional   I used Americolor Deep Pink

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter until creamy, about 2 minutes.  Add the sugar and beat on low until just combined and then increase the speed to medium for about 2 minutes.  Add the vanilla and heavy cream.  Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.  Stir in the sprinkles if using and/or the food coloring.

To assemble the cookies, match pairs based on size and shape before frosting.  Pipe or spread icing onto one half, then gently but firmly close the cookie.  Press lightly to spread the icing to the edges so it lo0ks pretty.  Store in an airtight container.

Source: Pink Parsley, originally from Cooks Illustrated.  Frosting color and piping with a star tip inspired by Gingerbread Bagel

Sprinkle Cookies

We were meeting some of Sammie’s friends at the zoo and I wanted to make some fun, easy to transport cookies for the kids to share after lunch.  I meant to make them the night before, but I got caught up with other things, namely the Olympics.  So, there I was, at 6AM the day of, baking cookies, when my husband stopped in the kitchen before leaving for work to ask if I was crazy.  We have been together for 20 years this November, since we were seniors in high school, so he knows the answer to this question is yes, maybe just a little bit. 😀

Kids love sprinkles, so I thought these would be perfect.  This dough is so easy to put together, you can even make it half asleep.  Trust me, I tested it.  The dough is a bit sticky, but if you use a cookie scoop you can just use the trigger to release the dough right into the bowl of the sprinkles.  Reading the recipe, I thought these would taste like sugar cookies.  But to me, the texture was more of a cross between a cake and a cookie.  The cookies taste mostly of butter and vanilla, as any good sugar cookie should.  The kids (and their moms) really loved these soft, cakey sugar cookies covered in sprinkles.  Come on, what’s not to love?

Sprinkle Cookies

Yield: 24 large cookies (I got 22)

2 1⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1⁄2 cup multicolor sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, combine the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  Beat until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.

Pour the sprinkles in a small bowl. Scoop up a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll it between your palms to form a ball. I used a medium cookie scoop because it was sticky. Roll the top half of each ball in the sprinkles. Place the balls, sprinkle side up, on a parchment lined cookie sheet, leaving about 3 inches between each cookie.  I got 9 cookies per sheet.  Bake the cookies until they are pale golden around the edges but still soft on top, about 10 minutes. Let them stand on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then remove them with a metal spatula to a wire rack to cool completely.

To freeze dough:  Cookies may be placed next to each other on parchment-lined baking sheets, frozen, transferred to zipper-lock plastic freezer bags, and stored in the freezer for up to 1 month. Frozen cookies may be placed in the oven directly from the freezer and baked as directed.  You may need to bake a minute or two longer.

Sprinkle Cookies will keep in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.

Source:  slightly adapted from Stephanie Cooks,  originally from Parenting.com (Lauren Chattman)

Sugar Cookies

When I was in college at University of Illinois, one of my roommates, Dawn, used to get care packages from her boyfriend’s mom (now mother-in-law).  In the box, there were always some of these super delicious sugar cookies.  Dawn was nice enough to share with us and I loved them!  I made sure to get the recipe.  Although I’m not sure why because I didn’t really bake back then.  It was probably so my mom could make them for me.  I totally forgot about those cookies until Alex pulled an old (okay, really old) binder off the bookshelf and a bunch of recipes fell out of it.  As I was cleaning up the mess, I saw this recipe and I couldn’t wait to make them.  I haven’t had these cookies in probably 15 years! Geez, now I have dated myself.  I had to double check the recipe with Dawn because the baking time and temperature was cut off.  And, I remember leaving out the cream of tartar from the ingredient list, because at the time, I didn’t know what it was.  It must not be important then, right?  She emailed me a photo of the original recipe and I was surprised that it didn’t have any vanilla or salt.  So, I decided to add them.  I also chose to use butter rather than margarine, because, well, it’s butter.  Enough said.

So, how were they?  Mmmm…just as good as I remembered.  The cookies are really buttery, not really chewy but very soft.  They are versatile in that you can change the color of the sanding sugar to coordinate with any holiday.  Or, even school colors would be cute.  Since there isn’t a holiday right now, we decided to go with Sammie’s favorite color, which for at least today, is rainbow.  I guess I could have coordinated with the colors of the Olympic rings or support Team USA with red, white and blue sugars.  But, of course, I didn’t think of that until now.  Oh, well.  Rainbow sugar tasted just fine. 😀

Old-fashioned sugar cookies

Yield: I got 29 cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature   the original recipe calls for margarine

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup granulated sugar (plus extra for rolling)

1 cup of canola oil

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 tsp salt

Sprinkles optional

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter, sugar and powdered sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat well until combined.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt with a spoon.  Sift the flour mixture into another bowl or onto wax paper.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture slowly.  Beat just until combined.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to overnight.  The dough is very soft, but will firm up quite a bit with refrigeration.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Put about 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl.  Roll the dough loosely into balls (I used a medium sized cookie scoop) and then roll completely in granulated sugar.   Place balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Press down gently with a flat bottomed glass dipped in sugar (it should be thick if you want a chewy cookie).  Store the bowl of dough in the fridge between batches.  Sprinkle on colored sugar if you wish.  Bake at 350 for 10 – 12 minutes.  You want to pull them out when they look set.  There should be almost no browning.  They should be very white.

They freeze well in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Source:  Adapted from Lois Curran ( My friend Steve’s mom)

The Treats Truck Sugar Dots

I live in a Chicago suburb, but I don’t get to the city much.  So, unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to sample some of the gourmet fare that food trucks are now offering.  Of course, I am most interested in the trucks that sell cupcakes, bars, cookies, really any baked goods.  I came across The Treats Truck Baking Book and I was instantly drawn to their slogan “Not too fancy, Always Delicious” because that’s how I like to think I bake.  They sell the treats that we all grew up with, but probably a little better.  (Sorry mom! :D)  Homemade chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes baked into ice cream cones, frosted sugar cookies, brownies…these are all comfort foods.  You see these treats and they instantly make you happy.  That is a big reason I love baking.  If I had a food truck, this would be it.

If you haven’t noticed yet, we love frosted cookies in my house.  Oh, and let’s not forget the sprinkles.  So, I knew that the Sugar Dots, one of the Treats Truck’s signature cookies, would be a perfect choice.  Usually I try to steer away from rolled cookies, just because they take a lot of time, which I don’t have.  But, looking at the picture of these sugar dots, I thought they would be worth the effort.  The dough was easy to put together and it rolled pretty easily with a bit of flour from time to time.  I used a shot glass (Classy, I knowOpen-mouth smile ) to cut them into circles because somehow with all the cookie cutters I have, I do not own a small round one.  So, my cookies were a bit smaller, about the size of a silver dollar.  But, that’s okay because I got more cookies with more frosting.  Never a bad thing!  The frosting is a basic buttercream, spread with an offset spatula, and decorated with sprinkles before the frosting sets.  I have to say, these cookies are crazy delicious. The sweet, creamy buttercream is a perfect complement to the buttery, tender, melt in your mouth cookie.  And, these two-biters are so cute!  Are they worth the time and effort?  The answer is easy as I take in Jack and Sammie’s Mmmms and their smiles through frosting covered lips.  Red heart

I had to make a rainbow for Sammie.

The Treats Truck Sugar Dots

Yield:  1.5 to 3 dozen cookies, depending on the size you make them. (I made mine small. and probably got more like 6 dozen)

Cookies

3 cups flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg, slightly beaten

3 tablespoons heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix and set aside.

Use a mixer to cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy Add the egg and mix well.

In a measuring cup, combine the heavy cream and vanilla.

Mix the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture in three parts, alternating with the cream and vanilla mixture, starting and ending with the flour.

Remove the dough from the bowl, form it into a block, and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to ¼ inch thick.  I floured the table, the top of the dough and the rolling pin. Using a cookie cutter (or shot glass)  cut out the cookies and place them 1 inch apart on a greased or parchment paper–lined baking sheet.  They don’t spread much so I was able to get 25 small cookies/sheet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until very lightly golden at the edges.

Allow the cookies to cool completely. Frost with buttercream using an offset spatula. If decorating with sprinkles, do so immediately after frosting each cookie or they won’t stick.  Let them sit out for at least 30 minutes to set.  I would pack them between wax paper to prevent from sticking and ruining the frosting.

Buttercream

Yield: 2 cups ( original recipe made 4 cups…way too much frosting)

1/2 stick of butter softened

3 cups sifted powdered sugar– to get out the lumps

1/4 cup whole milk

3/4 tsp vanilla

In your mixer bowl, cream the butter.  Add 1/2 of the powder sugar, mix well. Add the rest of the powdered sugar, mix well.  Add the milk and vanilla.  Mix until smooth and creamy.  Stick the frosting in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes to firm up a bit before using.

Note: The buttercream recipe is already halved.

Source: The Treats Truck:Cookies, Brownies, and Goodies Galore!

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