Bake: Sprinkle Cookies (for Santa)

My boys are 5 and 3, and they love helping me in the kitchen.  We have been making cookies for Santa together ever for the past 3 years and this is our favorite cookie recipe to make together.  The kids can help with almost every step (though I usually make the dough first, but they can help measure the flour, sugar, etc out).  The kids enjoy rolling the dough into balls, and covering them with sprinkles of their choice… because who doesn’t love sprinkles!?  We have used rainbow sprinkles, but this year decided to go with red and green sugar, and then mixed in a few random sprinkles and m&m’s for fun. That’s part of the fun of these cookies-  you can get creative and make them your own!

The recipe is adapted from the Smitten Kitchen


  • 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
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1 cup (approximate) sprinkles of your choice


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a couple of baking large sheets with parchment paper.
  2.  (I use a kitchenaid stand mixer, but I think you could probably do this by hand): 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. If the dough feels too soft to roll into balls in your hands, you can chill in the fridge for 20 minutes before using.
  3. Scoop balls of dough with a cookie scoop or spoon, and roll them briefly in the palms of your hands.  Drop them in a bowl of sugar or sprinkles and gently roll to coat them evenly.
  4. Place 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.
  5. Depending on size, bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until they look underbaked but lightly golden underneath.  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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I am a mom, wife, daughter, sister, doctor, adventure enthusiast, food lover, and photographer. I spend a lot of time researching fun things for my family to do, explore and eat - so I created this space to share some information that might be helpful to others.

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