Now that my last few posts have been about real food, I’m back to talking about what I really love – cookies. Case in point – these sprinkle cookies.
When Deb at Smitten Kitchen posted a few months about Confetti Cookies, I wanted to try them – and then became busy and promptly forgot about the recipe, until I rediscovered it during on a weekend when I went on a spree of browsing dessert recipes while waiting for Alex to bring home donuts for breakfast.
I couldn’t make the cookies immediately, unfortunately, because I didn’t have cream cheese, which the recipe called for. Luckily I remembered to pick it up during my weekly shopping trip. From there, it was a very simple process of stationing my toddler on the kitchen counter, where she could play with Keurig cups while I assembled cookie dough and steal sprinkles that fell off of cookies that I put on baking sheets. (She was very good, and only smooshed one cookie with a container after I flattened it with a glass. But who can blame her for trying to help with the cookies!)
The recipe was pretty easy to make. It’s a standard sugar cookie recipe enhanced by cream cheese. I remember seeing this original recipe in King Arthur Flour, but I had to pass it by since I don’t keep cream cheese in the house. The cream cheese is supposed to up the complexity in the cookie, keeping them from being merely sweet; I also think it helps keep them fresh. Deb made these cookies in the food processor. I tried this for a different Smitten Kitchen recipe I tried once, and it worked splendidly! So I used a food processor instead of my stand mixer. This worked well as I didn’t have to bring my butter or cream cheese to room temperature, and the process was also a few minutes faster.
I cut back on the sugar by accident, but Alex and I agreed that we didn’t miss it; the sprinkles are plenty sweet. This recipe should yield 48 cookies, but I only got 33. They baked perfectly, though. The cookies were wonderfully soft and tender, and were still fresh after being stored in an air-tight container for a few days. I think this will be my go-to sugar cookie recipe.
These sugar cookies are easy to make in advance! Coat with sprinkles, flatten, freeze, and bake for 2 extra minutes directly from the freezer.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon table salt
- 16 tablespoons butter (2 sticks); softened if using an electric mixer
- 1/4 cup cream cheese (2 ounces, or 1/4 of a block of cream cheese); softened if using an electric mixer
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup sprinkles
In a food processor: process flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add butter and cream cheese in chunks, top with sugar, and process until mixture is powdery. You may need to stir a few times to see if any chunks are left. Add egg and vanilla and process until a dough forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to be sure everything is mixed in.
If using an electric or stand mixer, cream softened butter, softened cream cheese, and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and stir until well combined. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix until just combined. If dough is too soft to handle, refrigerate 20 minutes.
Place sprinkles in a bowl. Portion cookie dough using two spoons or a cookie scoop (I used a #40/ 1.5 tablespoon one). Roll each portion of cookie dough in your hands to shape into a ball, then roll in sprinkles. (I only coated mine on top, to conserve sprinkles.) Place on a lined cookie sheet 2 inches apart, then use the bottom of a glass to flatten the cookies to a 1/4- 1/2 inch thickness. Bake for 9 minutes in a 375F oven; cookies should be pale but will begin to brown on bottom. Cool a few minutes on the sheet, then remove to a cooling rack. Yield will be anywhere from 33-48 cookies.