I fully intend to bake my way through the month of December, and share all of the results here. Well, at least the delicious ones! If you are in the market for a Christmas treat that is equal parts sweet, festive, and simple to make, you are going to be oh so happy with these classic sugar cookies canvassed with bright, cheery sprinkles.
This is likely to highlight my OCD tendencies in an unflattering way, but I actually had the idea to make something like this last year, and could not find red and green sprinkles for the life of me. (Europe is many wonderful things, but it is not exactly a paradise of ingredients for American-style baked goods.) So I approached the problem as any good expatriate would, and bought them on Amazon. Unfortunately, it was already mid-December by the time I conceded defeat on a local purchase, meaning they did not arrive until early January, and, well, the bottom line is that these charming red and green jimmies traversed the Atlantic Ocean only to sit in my kitchen for a full year, waiting patiently for their time to shine.
Fortunately, their hour has arrived, and it was worth the wait! These cookies are highly addictive and fun to bake, especially with little ones, who would probably enjoy rolling the dough into balls and using their hands to adhere a generous sprinkle coating. Plus, can you imagine anything more colorful and cute for a holiday cookie tray, or to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve? I would definitely leave some extra presents at a house that left a plate of these with my name on it.. just sayin’. ; – )
Sprinkle Sugar Cookies
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. table salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) cream cheese (this is optional, adding it just makes the cookies a little fluffier and, well, creamier!)
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean pod, split open and the seeds scraped out
- 1/4 tsp. almond extract (optional)
- approximately 1 cup sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, and prepare two baking sheets by lining with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to blend. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, cream cheese, and sugar and beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla extract or vanilla bean seeds, and almond extract, if using. Beat again until incorporated. Add the flour mixture and beat on medium-low speed just until the streaks of flour disappear. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a hand-held mixer or just do these steps by hand.)
- Chill the dough for 15-20 minutes, then scoop out balls of approximately 1 1/2 tbsp. each. Pour the sprinkles into a small bowl. Roll each scoop of cookie dough briefly in your hands to make a smooth ball, then roll each in the sprinkles and turn to coat evenly. Arrange on baking sheets, and use the bottom of a drinking glass to flatten each ball gently until it is about 1/2-inch tall. Bake for about 10 minutes for soft cookies (they will look underbaked, but finish setting with the residual heat from the baking sheets) or about 12 minutes for crispier cookies. Let cool for 10-15 minutes on the baking sheets before transferring cookies to a wire rack. Enjoy!