Tuesday, May 24, 2016

sprinkles make a party!

last week i saw this recipe for confetti cookies on smitten kitchen, and i decided they were just the thing for ruby's ice cream themed birthday party! 

sprinkles on the ice cream...sprinkles on the cookies...sprinkles = a fiesta in your mouth! 

(sidebar: do you call these sprinkles or jimmies? when i was a kid in philadelphia we called them jimmies, but don't think they're called that here in the bay area. anyone?)
when i first found the recipe on smitten kitchen, she mentioned that there are no real rainbow sprinkles, and after trips to safeway, farmer joe's, beverly's, michael's, berkeley bowl? yep. red, orange, yellow, green, pink and white do not a rainbow make! where is the blue? the purple? after wasting waaaaaay too much time looking for blue and purple sprinkles i finally compromised with adding in some blue sprinkles from an small, over-priced container at michael's. (where are the baking supply stores in oakland?!)
these cookies are a cinch to bake, pretty as can be, and tasty (which often sugar cookies are not at all!) this is essentially the king arthur flour recipe for sugar cookies, rolled in sprinkles, and flattened slightly. here they are before they went in the oven, so instagramable...
and viola! after 9 minutes in the oven, they popped out looking like this!

you can get the recipe along with commentary & pretty pictures on smitten kitchen or follow it here:

Confetti Cookies from Smitten Kitchen
Recipe barely adapted from King Arthur, technique and language were tinkered with
If you’re using a food processer, no need to soften the butter or cream cheese first. If using an electric hand- or stand mixer, you’ll want them softened before you mix the dough. If you’re using vanilla bean, which I really love here, I find you can maximize the flavor you get out of it by rubbing the vanilla bean seeds right into your sugar, distributing it evenly and giving it a extra flavor-releasing abrasion. Then use the sugar as written below.
Yield: 4 dozen 2 1/2-inch 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 (see Note up top)
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.


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