Smitten Kitchen's Confetti Cookies
Listen to me very closely.
DO. NOT. CHANGE. ONE. THING. ABOUT. THIS. RECIPE.
Do you understand? Smitten Kitchen absolutely fucking nailed it on these cookies, and if you stray from her ingredients or instructions even a .5 ounce, you will fuck it up for yourself and the rest of us. I am not good at baking. It's always too precise for me, and I have a tendency to rush things. However, I took my dear sweet time with these, fluffing the wet ingredients for minutes on end and carefully adding batches of flour little by little, and they came out PERFECT. They are the most delicious, bakery-quality thing I've ever made with my own two hands. And you can say the same if you just stick to the script*, especially the baking time. They won't look done on top, but trust me — they are.
(*I will admit, I did NOT use almond extract because I hate it and she marked it as optional).
The Most Amazing Confetti Cookies Ever by 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 or 1/2 a vanilla bean, split and scraped (see Note up top)
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- 1 cup rainbow sprinkles
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.
- 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.