Every once in a while, I stop by Joy the Baker’s site to see what she’s been up to. And by “once in a while”, I mean at least once a week. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Joy, she is the epitome of what it means to be an enjoyable food blogger: witty, knowledgeable, and direct. When I found myself on her site this week, two recipes gave me pause. Strawberry rhubarb pie, and these vanilla bean confetti cookies. I’ve ogled both before but had yet to make either.
Initially I chose to make the strawberry rhubarb pie, but it’s still so cold outside that I wasn’t sure that my Fairway would have rhubarb yet. It’s also so cold outside that I did not, in fact, want to go outside. I had all the ingredients for the confetti cookies, so confetti cookies it was. And I am VERY content with my choice. They’re playfully colorful and so soft that eating them is probably the closest one could come to safely consuming a tube of raw cookie dough. I said safely. They also have a depth of flavor that other sugar/butter cookies don’t have, due to the vanilla bean and their chilling time.
The one warning I must give before you embark on your confetti cookie journey is that the dough needs to be refrigerated prior to baking. SO. If there isn’t a lot of time before you want these cookies to meet your face, I would pick a different recipe. Or at the very least find something to distract yourself for two hours while they chill.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar.. all of mine is from the 80’s and has expired.. shh.. don’t tell
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sprinkles, more if you want to throw them in the air joyfully while you bake
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vanilla bean seeds, then the egg and vanilla extract, and beat until thoroughly combined.
With the mixer on low add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in a few doses. The dough will become quite thick– don’t worry, this is correct. Fold in 1/4 cup of the sprinkles.
Place the remaining 1/4 cup sprinkles in a bowl. Scoop up 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball– I was using about 1/4 of dough at first, so I quickly ran out of dough. Gently roll the ball in the bowl of sprinkles to cover lightly. Put the balls on a plate. Repeat with the remaining sprinkles and dough. Chill the soon-to-be cookies for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Transfer the chilled dough balls to the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space in between each ball.
Bake until the cookies have spread very slightly and are just beginning to brown around the edges, but are mostly pale and pillowy, 8 to 10 minutes.* Let cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely, then transfer to your mouth ASAP.
*I took mine out a bit before they browned on the edges, since I like my cookies to be very soft and chewy. If you want more of a crisp exterior and a soft interior, stick with Joy’s directives.