Navigating Christmas as a newly married couple has been interesting. We each have our own traditions that we want to bring into our married life, but we also want to start new ones. Christmas cookies, at least to me, are a part of these traditions. Colin wasn’t here for Christmas last year so I only made a couple of my favorite kinds of cookies to share with friends. The previous year, our first Christmas together, I think I made every kind of Christmas cookie ever because I was homesick and bored (my job hadn’t started yet). This year, since Colin should be here, I want to make each of our favorites and try out some new recipes too. Since I was already planning on donating one of my favorite Christmas cookies for the cookie drive (you can find that recipe here), I wanted to bring one of Colin’s favorites too. When I asked him what his favorite Christmas cookies are or if he had any family cookie traditions, he answered with oatmeal, molasses and sugar cookies as well as peanut brittle. Peanut brittle was eliminated right away (I’m allergic to peanuts). He always asks for oatmeal cookies and we already have two great molasses cookie recipes, one from my mom and the other from his grandma. The obvious answer for the new cookie recipe to find, of course, was sugar cookies. Did I mention that I hate sugar cookies? Hate is the wrong word, I guess, because I do actually love eating them, but I hate making sugar cookies. Just the thought of rolling out dough a million times, cutting out shapes and then, once you’re finally done baking the cookies, you have to spend endless hours decorating them with royal icing makes me shudder. I voluntarily made 30 sea turtle cookies for a baby shower this summer and I haven’t recovered yet. (Can you tell?) So when Colin asked for sugar cookies, I knew I had to find a drop cookie recipe.
I wanted a cookie that was soft in the middle, crunchy on the outside and had that buttery vanilla flavor that we all tend to associate with sugar cookies. When I stumbled across a sprinkle filled sugar cookie on Sally’s Baking Addiction, I knew I had found the one. Side note, have you checked out her blog before? She has hundreds of cookie recipes for this time of year (I didn’t actually count, but I think it’s a good guess) along with tons of other drool worthy desserts and everything I’ve made from her has been phenomenal. She is constantly posting new recipes too, so if you haven’t checked out her site, you should!
Not surprisingly, these cookies are delicious! Colin said multiple times, “These are the best sugar cookies I’ve ever had.” Now, I’m starting to not trust that statement, since he seems to say that about everything I make (or maybe I’m just really talented, but I doubt it). In all seriousness, these are really, really good. They have that perfect cookie crunch, yet are still soft in the middle, like I wanted. The sprinkles give them a little extra crunch and a hint sprinkle flavor (is that a thing?), plus they totally up the cuteness factor! The buttery, vanilla flavor that I mentioned, with just a hint of almond, is spot on and delicious. The best part about these cookies though, is that the dough is really simple to make and you don’t have to roll it out. Also, no decorating is required. Win! The dough does need to chill, but it’s just a quick 30 minute chill, so you won’t be waiting around all day to make these when the craving strikes. I actually made the dough the night before and let it sit on the counter while the oven pre-heated and that worked really well too. That’s what I love about this recipe. It’s so easy and flexible!
I donated the majority of these cookies to the cookie drive so we were only able to enjoy a few. They were so good though, I have a sneaking suspicion that I am going to get a request for them again, if not for this Christmas, then for Christmases in the future. Here’s to making new Christmas traditions, even if they are just about cookies! Maybe these will become a new tradition in your house too!
Funfetti Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 cups (360g) all purpose flour
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sprinkles
- Add the softened butter to bowl of electric mixer and cream for 1 minute on medium speed.
- Once the butter is smooth, add the sugar and beat on medium speed, 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Beat in egg, egg yolk and vanilla and almond extracts, scrapping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cornstarch, and salt together until combined.
- With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 different parts. The dough is quite thick and will be a little crumbly at first. Keep mixing and the dough will come together.
- Once combined, gently beat in the sprinkles on low speed until evenly disbursed. Be careful not to over mix!
- Cover the cookie dough tightly and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days.
- Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and let sit out at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. If the cookie dough chilled longer than 3 hours, allow to sit at room temperature for 30-40 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325F degrees and line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll cookie dough into balls, about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough in each ball. (I used my #40, purple scoop.)
- Evenly space the dough balls on a cookie sheet. You should be able to fit 9 per sheet.
- Bake in batches for 9-11 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned. The cookies will still appear very soft in the centers. That's ok; they'll set up and become firmer as they cool. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheets for 3 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
1. For the sprinkles, I could only find the small bottles of Christmas sprinkles. Three of the small bottles equals 1 cup. Do not use nonpareils (the small balls) as the color will bleed off into the dough.
2. These can be made with a #30, black scoop. Baking time will increase to 11-12 minutes. The recipe yield would probably be closer to 2.5 dozen cookies.
Recipe slightly adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction