A recipe for easy, festive, delicious cookies is like gold, and these Sprinkle Cookies with Browned Butter definitely fit that description! Easy enough to make anytime, and festive enough for holidays and special occasions, they're a go-to dessert!
These Sprinkle Cookies are thick, chewy, and delicious! The deep, rich flavor of browned butter and festive sprinkles make these cookies a year-round favorite!
The ingredients for these cookies are straightforward, and you likely have most (if not all!) of them on-hand regularly. Measurements for each of the ingredients is included in the recipe card, below.
- Unsalted Butter - For moisture and richness. The butter is browned for this recipe, which adds a lovely depth of flavor. I used unsalted butter so that I control the amount of salt in the recipe. (If you don't want to used browned butter, check out the "Substitutions" section of this post.)
- Flour - Provides structure for the cookies. I used all-purpose flour.
- Baking Powder - For leavening.
- Salt - To help balance and enhance the flavors of the cookies.
- Sugar - For sweetness and keeping the cookies soft and moist.
- Eggs - For moisture, richness, and a little leavening.
- Milk - For moisture and richness.
- Vanilla Bean Paste - I just love the punch of flavor from the vanilla bean paste! If you prefer, you can substitute with an equal measure of vanilla extract.
- Sprinkles - For color, also adds sweetness as sprinkles contain sugar. I've only used the long "jimmy" type sprinkles for this recipe. This recipe is fabulous to change up for different seasons and holiday just by changing the color(s) of the sprinkles!
Tip: Depending on what sprinkles you choose, it's possible that they may deterioratorate/bleed their color. A good rule of thumb to avoid this is to look for sprinkles that include "confectioner's glaze" in the list of ingredients.
Browning the butter is the most complicated part of the recipe, but it's very easy to do, I swear! Make sure to check out the recipe card (below) for additional detail!
How to Brown Butter
Place butter in a medium saucepan and melt over medium heat.
As the butter browns, swirl the pan occasionally. Foam will form on top, which is normal.
As the butter browns, it will bubble and sputter and the foam will begin to dissipate a bit. Keep a close watch!
The butter is browned when the bubbling and sputtering stops. Cool to room temperature, then place in the fridge to solidify to "softened" butter.
How to Make Sprinkle Cookies
Now that you've browned the butter, the rest of the recipe is an absolute breeze!
Combine the dry ingredients and set aside.
Beat browned buter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, vanilla bean paste, and milk and mix to combine.
Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
Stir sprinkles into the dough by hand, taking care to not break up the sprinkles too much.
Portion the dough into balls, dip the tops in sprinkles, and place on baking sheets. Bake until barely golden.
Hint: The sprinkles will stick best right after the dough balls are made. If you have issues with them sticking, dip the top of the dough ball in a small amount of water, shake off any excess water, then dip into the sprinkles.
There are a few recipe substitutions that you can make if you'd like:
- Instead of Vanilla Bean Paste- If you prefer not to use vanilla bean paste or don't have it on-hand, you can substitute with an equal measure of vanilla extract.
- Instead of Browned Butter - While I'm extremely fond of the browned butter in this recipe, maybe it's just not your cup of tea or you don't have time for it. If that's the case, go ahead and use regular (room temperature) unsalted butter. Because no liquid will be lost from the butter during the browning process, omit the milk from the recipe to avoid the dough being too sticky/wet.
There's no special equipment required for this recipe, but here are a few things that I used to make life a little easier:
Cookie Scoop - I like to use a cookie scoop to portion out my cookies so they're all uniform in size, and it keeps my hands much cleaner. I've used both a small cookie scoop (which hold about 1 tablespoon of dough) and a medium cookie scoop (which holds about 1.5 tablespoons of dough) to make this recipe. Both size cookies bake up in the time range specified in the recipe card. The recipe yield in the recipe card is based off using a medium scoop.
Nonstick Parchment - I like using nonstick parchment on my pans to ensure no sticking and for easier cleanup.
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This cookie dough can be frozen (already portioned into balls) in an airtight container for up to three months. You can bake them from frozen, just add an extra minute or two to the bake time.
The baked and cooled cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, but they have the best texture in the first 2-3 days. Baked and cooled cookies can be well wrapped in an airtight container and frozen for up to three months.
Depending on what sprinkles you choose, it's possible that they may deterioratorate/bleed their color. A good rule of thumb to avoid this is to look for sprinkles that include "confectioner's glaze" in the list of ingredients.
Yes! Check the "Storage" section above for additional details on storing cookie dough/baked cookies.
Other Recipes You May Like
Sprinkle Cookies with Browned Butter
To Brown the Butter
- Place butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, swirl the pan occasionally to help promote even browning of the butter. Foam will form on top, this is normal!
- As the butter browns, it will bubble and sputter and the foam will begin to dissipate a bit. Keep a close watch on the butter, as it's easy to burn! It's easy to know when the butter is done: it will be quiet! Just listen for the bubbling and sputtering to be nearly stopped, then it's perfectly browned! The browning process typically takes 10-15 minutes total.
- After removing the browned butter from the heat, allow the butter to come to room temperature. Once at room temperature, place the pan in the refrigerator to help the butter solidify, which takes about 20 minutes. I stirred my brown butter after 10 minutes to help it solidify evenly and to redistribute the browned milk solids throughout the butter. Your goal is to have a "softened butter" texture to use in the recipe.
For Sprinkle Cookies
- Preheat your oven to 350° F. Line baking sheets with parchment (see note) and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt). Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the browned butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Add the eggs one at a time, allowing the first egg to incorporate before adding the second. Add the vanilla bean paste (see note) and milk and mix to combine.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
- Stir ½ cup of the sprinkles into the dough by hand using a silicone spatula, taking care to not break up the sprinkles too much.
- Portion the dough out into 1.5 tablespoon-size balls (see note on cookie scoop). Dip the tops of the dough balls into the remaining sprinkles, and place on the prepared baking sheets at least two inches apart. The sprinkles will stick best right after the dough balls are made. If you have issues with them sticking, dip the top of the dough ball in a small amount of water, shake off any excess water, then dip into the sprinkles.
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until just barely golden on the bottoms. Allow baked cookies to sit on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.Enjoy!
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate.