I have long believed that one of the happiest times in one’s adult life is the brief period between ending a job and starting a new one. Without the pressures of maintaining or finding employment, these days or weeks can hold such promise—a combination of carefree bliss and thrilling anticipation reminiscent of summer vacation during elementary school. It just doesn’t get any better than this. Or maybe it’s just me…
In recognition and celebration of closing one chapter and opening a new one, I baked a batch of the most festive cookies ever—Confetti Cookies from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook by Christina Tosi. Nothing says “Woo hoo!” quite like rainbow sprinkles, if you know what I mean. Plus, any cookie that calls for “Birthday Cake Crumbs” in the recipe is a winner in my book.
As far as cookie recipes go, this one is somewhat high-maintenance, although not as fussy as Jacque Torres’ “Perfect” Chocolate Chip Cookie. The aforementioned “Birthday Cake Crumbs” create an additional step, but every extra minute is worth it once you taste the crumbs’ sandy texture and salty-sweet profile. There’s also an hour-long pause required in between mixing and baking the dough, which can be irksome for those seeking instant gratification. Other than those two blips, these Confetti Cookies bake up like a dream—crisp on the outside and cuddly on the inside, a technicolor treat.
- 16 tablespoons (225 grams, 2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar
- 2 tablespoons (50 grams) glucose or 1 tablespoon (25 grams) corn syrup
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons (8 grams) clear vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups (400 grams) flour
- 2/3 cup (50 grams) milk powder
- 2 teaspoons (9 grams) cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon (6 grams) baking soda
- 1 1/4 teaspoons (5 grams) kosher salt
- 1/4 cup (40 grams) rainbow sprinkles
- 1/2 recipe Birthday Cake Crumbs
For “Birthday Cake Crumb”
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (25 grams) light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 3/4 cup (90 grams) cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons (20 grams) rainbow sprinkles
- 1/4 cup (40 grams) grapeseed oil
- 1 tablespoon (12 grams) clear vanilla extract
Make Birthday Cake Crumbs
Heat the oven to 300°F.
Combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until well combined.
Add the oil and vanilla and paddle again to distribute. The wet ingredients will act as glue to help the dry ingredients form small clusters; continue paddling until that happens.
Spread the clusters on a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes, breaking them up occasionally. The crumbs should still be slightly moist to the touch; they will dry and harden as they cool.
Let the crumbs cool completely before using in a recipe or scarfing by the handful. Stored in an airtight container, the crumbs will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or 1 month in the fridge or freezer.
Make Confetti Cookies
Combine the butter, sugar, and glucose in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs and vanilla, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, milk powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and rainbow sprinkles. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step, or you will risk overmixing the dough.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Still on low speed, add the birthday cake crumbs and mix in for 30 seconds—just until they are incorporated.
Using a digital scale or a 1/3-cup measure, portion out the dough into 2 3/4-ounce balls onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature—they will not bake properly.
Heat the oven to 350°F.
Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. After 16 minutes, they should be very lightly browned on the edges (golden brown on the bottom). The centers will show just the beginning signs of color. Leave the cookies in the oven for an additional minute or so if the colors don’t match and the cookies still seem pale and doughy on the surface.
Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or an airtight container for storage. At room temp, the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.
Makes 17 very large cookies.
More cookie recipes on Gastronomy:
- America’s Test Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Basil Cookies
- Bouchon Bakery’s Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
- Candy Cane Pinwheels
- Chewy Chai Meringue Cookies
- Coconut Macaroons
- Emeril Lagasse’s Snickerdoodles
- Inside-Out Carrot Cake Cookies
- Orange Spice Cookies
- Peppermint Sandwich Cookies with Candy Cane Bits (or Homemade Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s)
- Salted Cookies ‘n Cream Cookies
- The “Perfect” Chocolate Chip Cookie
- Wes’ Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies
- World Peace Cookies / Korova Cookies