Last week was met with kitchen frustration. I started Monday off with high hopes, still radiating from the glow of oven roasted turkey and an overabundance of stuffing and assorted pies. “Let’s make alllll the Christmas things for the blog, shall we?”, I said to myself and trusty two pups. Chai, I thought. Bake the flavors of chai tea into something delicious, flaky, and soul-warming. But after three failed tries and roughly 8 sticks of butter wasted, I was heavy-handedly pouring a glass of red wine and contemplating my life decisions.
It didn’t help that later in the evening of my epic defeat, one of our friends who is a trained pastry chef from the Culinary Institute of America in New York City came over with a myriad of homemade, perfect macarons. Some of which were… chai flavored. *Cue another wine pour and scarfing of delicious pastries made by said professional, choking back fears of life choices.
I don’t know what went wrong. Well… yes, I do. It was distraction and lack of preparation. I thought I’d make shortbread with chai flavors, but made the dough and left it wrapped in the fridge for about a day and a half while life went on. When it came time to roll it out, it may as well have been a block of fragrant sand with how dry it had become. Into the mixer everything went again, this time with a dollop more of butter to avoid the aforementioned dryness. Too much compensation, as it turns out… Once in the oven, the dough sizzled and deformed from too much of that lovable fat. What about scones? I’ll bake those flavors into a scone… But first mixed everything together sans sugar, then put the remedied dough into the oven only to realize I forgot the baking powder. All the fails.
After these 3 tries, the boy insisted I abandon my chai endeavor. So goodbye, chai baked goods. I had been contemplating what you could become for a long time, but now you’ll be merely a haunting memory of kitchen nightmares past.
To redeem myself in my own eyes, I made these sprinkle sugar cookies. Simple. Straightforward. Obnoxious with holiday spirit.
I’m fairly certain there are no less than a bajillion similar recipes to this on the webs, but this is me not caring and sharing it with you anyway. I took my favorite sugar cookie recipe from Rebecca Rather’s The Pastry Queen, tweaked it slightly, and added a childhood-joy-fulfilling amount of Christmas-y sprinkles. To top it off, I melted down some white chocolate with a hint of coconut oil and vanilla, then drizzled that goodness all over the baked cookies, topped with even more sprinkles.
Although my children have four furry legs and wagging tails, I think this would be a super fun recipe to make with any little kiddos running around in need of extra Christmas cheer. It’s very simple and extremely gratifying, like a funfetti cookie, but homemade. The white chocolate topping is completely optional, but if you do choose to use it you could just dip a portion of the cookies in it or add coloring to make it festive.
I ate no less than 4 while making and photographing them, and am now contemplating a dinner of roasted broccoli and ice cubes to compensate for my bad behavior. But if you need a win in the kitchen or something to dip in cold milk while you watch White Christmas on repeat, these are for you.
Christmas Sprinkle Sugar Cookies with White Chocolate Drizzle
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups white granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons sprinkles
White chocolate glaze (optional)
- 8 oz good quality baking chocolate coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about a minute. With the mixer on low, add the vegetable oil, sugar, and vanilla slowly and in succession after. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until well incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients in increments while the mixer mixes on low speed, until combined.
- Add the 3 heaping tablespoons of sprinkles and mix until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour, or pop in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
- Roll the chilled dough into roughly golf ball sizes and flatten just slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake in an oven heated at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 12 minutes, or until the center is just set and the edges are lightly golden.
- To make the drizzle, fill a small sauce pan a quarter of the way with water, and find a glass bowl that will fit on top of it without touching the water. Turn the heat to medium high, and add the white chocolate, coconut oil (gives it a smooth consistency), and vanilla to the glass bowl. Stir occasionally as the mixture slowly melts down. Keep on the heat until all lumps have disappeared.
- Lay the cookies evenly on a clean surface, preferably on top of wax or parchment paper for easy cleanup. Fill a parchment triangle with the white glaze mixture, or use a plastic storage bag and nip one of the edges. Drizzle over the top of all of the cookies. Add a few extra sprinkles on top if you like. If transporting the cookies, let the drizzle harden before layering on top of each other. Otherwise, enjoy immediately.
- This makes a substantial amount of cookies, so half the recipe if you're only looking to satisfy a sweet tooth.