I got my second vaccine shot earlier this week, and now it’s time to celebrate (while waiting two weeks for it to kick in) 🎉
Is there anything that says “hip hip hooray!” quite like rainbow sprinkles? I think not. They’re just so dang happy, like I am when I book trips to see my family or search for theatre tickets for the first time in forever.
These colorful little cookies are as fun to make as they are to eat! Their ingredients list is short & to the point, as most shortbread recipes are. The base of flavor and texture comes from softened butter, flour and sugar (in this case, a mix of granulated and confectioner’s sugar). I’ve added some vanilla and a hint of almond extract for that signature Funfetti flavor, and finished the dough off with a borderline-absurd amount of rainbow sprinkles. That’s my style.
Rather than going the slice & bake route with these shortbread, I prefer to flatten the dough into sheets and briefly freeze it. This means that I can bake/eat cookies sooner than later, and as they will be cut with a cutter, the results will be perfectly uniform.
While these sprinkle-speckled cookies need no adornment, I couldn’t help myself. A little drizzle of glaze and a few more sprinkles really make this recipe for me. The extra pops of sweetness and crunch are perfect paired with the buttery shortbread, and give them a bakery-esque quality that I adore.
Funfetti Shortbread are good the day they are made, but I think they are actually better as time goes on. By day two, the cookies crisp up a bit, resulting in a super-satisfying texture. I have not shared a single one, and can say with certainty that they’re still wonderful on day seven.
A cookie that’s still great after a week? Now that’s something to celebrate.
makes about 3.5 dozen
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract or imitation butter extract (optional)
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles (jimmies, not nonpareils)
Glaze & Garnish:
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3-3 1/2 teaspoons milk
1-2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles (jimmies or nonpareils)
2-inch cookie cutter (I used round)
Place softened butter in a medium-large mixing bowl and use an electric mixer to beat it until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add dark brown and confectioners sugars and mix until fluffy. Mix in vanilla, optional almond extract (or imitation butter extract), and salt. With the mixer on low, beat in flour. Dough will be crumbly looking, but should hold together very well when pinched. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold in sprinkles.
Divide dough in two parts. Working with one half at a time, sandwich dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll until 1/4-inch thick. Transfer to the freezer (on a baking sheet, if desired) for 20 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough. It is okay to stack the sheets of dough in the freezer.
While the dough is freezing, place racks in the center positions. Preheat the oven to 300F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set two cooking racks over parchment or wax paper.
Remove one sheet of dough from the freezer. Peel on of the pieces of parchment off. Use a lightly floured 2-inch cookie cutter to cut cookies. Place them close together on prepared pans. Repeat with remaining dough. Scraps can be re-rolled, frozen, and cut.
Bake cookies for 20-22 minutes, or until no longer shiny (not browned). Let cool on the pans for 7 minutes. Use a thin spatula (not your fingers!) to remove cookies to cooling racks to cool completely.
Make the glaze. In a small bowl use a fork to whisk together confectioner’s sugar, salt, vanilla and 3 teaspoons milk. Add more milk by the 1/2 teaspoon, until desired consistency is reached.
Use a fork or piping bag to drizzle glaze over cookies as desired. Top with sprinkles. The glaze will be dry to the touch within 20 minutes and harden after a few hours.
Serve. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.