Friends! This is a quick newsletter to welcome you to February, to share a few recent and upcoming events with you, and to give you a cookie recipe that I’ve made four times and counting in the last few months, and which you will immediately want to make as soon as you see them. See, look:
Okay wait but before we get to the cookie recipe! I had the honor and joy to talk to Brit Bennett, Jacqueline Woodson, and Rebecca Carroll in a Time 100 Talk as a part of their The Renaissance is Black project. You can read the text here, and the entire video discussion is available here! (I think — they’re airing it as I type this, so that link may change afterwards, but this is the Time 100 Talks link that should direct you to it if that one doesn’t work). I hope you all enjoy it — I really love the work of the authors I got to talk to, so I’m surprised my face wasn’t just that heart eyes emoji the entire time.
Also! Speaking of authors whose work I love, next Wednesday, February 10th, I get to be on a panel with Julia Quinn, Alisha Rai, and Eloisa James, moderated by Sophie Jordan! I’m so excited Barnes & Noble put together this panel, and I can’t wait to talk romance and writing with these authors. It’s at 4 pm Pacific Time and 7 pm Eastern, and you can watch through Facebook or Twitter — all the info is here!
Okay, now for the cookies. I made these confetti cookies right before Christmas, because I was feeling blue about the pandemic and the holidays and missing so many people I love and everything else, and I thought, “maybe making colorful cookies will cheer me up.” Wow was I correct! Just looking at these cookies on the cooling rack made me happy, but they are also very easy, delicious, and fun to make! They are a Smitten Kitchen recipe that she adapted from a King Arthur Flour recipe, I have a few little notes on them of what I did, with a mixer you can get these from “maybe I should make cookies?” to out of the oven in less than thirty minutes, and without a mixer and with soft butter, it’s probably not much more than that time. You’ll get sprinkles all over your kitchen (well, if you’re anything like me, you will), but it’ll be worth it. And because of the cream cheese in the dough (see the note on that below) the sprinkles don’t make them too sweet.
3 cups (375 grams) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces, 225 grams, 2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (4 ounces, 110 grams) cream cheese*
1 1/4 cup (250 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional, but really great here)
1 cup rainbow sprinkles
*The original recipe called for half this amount of cream cheese, so 1/4 cup or 2 ounces or 55 grams, and that’s great, but someone on Instagram told me to try it with double the cream cheese, and I did that this week, and it’s even better!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
(Smitten Kitchen gives you food processor directions at the link, read her directions if you want to use a food processor — I just used my mixer, but these would be easy by hand if your butter and cream cheese is softened).
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and whisk to blend. In a large bowl or the bowl of your mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, and sugar until fluffy — make sure you stop the mixer, scoop the sides of the mixture with a silicone spatula, and start it again to make sure everything is mixed together well. Add the egg and the vanilla and almond extracts (if you’re using it) and blend again (again stopping and scooping with a spatula and mixing again). Then add the flour mixture and beat just until combined. She says if the dough feels too soft, you can chill in the fridge for a little while before proceeding with the recipe — I didn’t have to do that because my kitchen is cold at this time of year, but if your kitchen is warm or you’re making this in the summer, then you might have to. (Or you could just do the mixing part in advance and put the dough in the fridge so you can bake them another time).
When you’re ready to bake, scoop balls of dough and roll them in your hands. She says to use a #40, or 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop — I don’t have a scoop that size, so I googled what weight usually fits in that scoop and some website told me 30 grams so I measured about 30 grams of dough for each cookie, which okay yes might be overkill but after a few it got pretty easy to eyeball it and then the cookies are all the same size. I mean or you could just use a regular tablespoon from your cutlery set to measure if you aren’t like me. Roll the balls of dough just for a few seconds in your hands, and then drop them in a bowl with the sprinkles in it and roll them all round so they’re evenly coated in sprinkles. Place on the parchment lined cookie sheets — for me, twelve cookies was perfect per cookie sheet — and use the bottom of a drinking glass to gently press down on the cookies to flatten them a little (I really enjoyed this part). Sprinkle a few more sprinkles on top if you want. Bake for 9-10 minutes until they’re puffy but a little golden at the bottoms. They’ll unpuff as they cool! Cool for a few minutes, and look at them all pretty and colorful and be happy, and then eat them and give them away and other people will be happy too.
Have a good weekend!