We’re a foodie family – which means we love eating and creating (baking and cooking) delicious food together. In fact, before I started this blog, I had a mainly food focused blog – Living Deliciously in SoCal. Although now our focus is more on adventures and family trips, we continue to enjoy our time together in the kitchen.
Our family has our own special take on holiday cookies. Instead of making traditional cut out sugar cookies frosted with icing, our tradition is to make sprinkle cookies together. I chose this recipe because 1) kids love sprinkles, 2) everybody loves sprinkles 3) it is really kid friendly – the kids can participate in rolling the dough into balls, and dipping the balls into whichever sprinkles they want, 4) you can customize the sprinkle type to make Christmas cookies, valentine cookies, rainbow sprinkle cookies.
This recipe adapted from the Confetti Cookies by Smitten Kitchen.
Festive Sprinkle Cookies
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon 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 (approximately) sprinkles, mini m&m’s, decorative sugar (the possibilities are endless)
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
To make with an electric mixer (I use my kitchenaid 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, softened 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.
To make in a food processor (c/o smitten kitchen, I haven’t tried this method): 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 probably need to scrape it down once or twice to get the mixture even.
Both methods: Scoop balls of dough – (Smitten Kitchen recommends using a #40, or 1 1/2 tablespoon, scoop) – and roll them briefly in the palms of your hands before dropping them in your bowl of sprinkles (or whatever topping you choose). Gently roll them to coat them evenly (or not, as seen below – it doesn’t really matter – you can have fun with these cookie, and they still taste fabulous!)
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 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.
Here are some photos of our variations of these cookies over the years.
Many thanks to our friends at Anthropologie for helping us create “thismerrymoment” in our kitchen this year. Other style notes: the polka dot pajamas by Mabo Kids are our favorite – I keep on buying the next size up year after year. The kid’s aprons are by Hedley and Bennett, and myself and Jason have them too!