Rainbow Sugar Cookies

As a child, when asked what my favorite color was, I said "all the colors." I wanted ice cream with rainbow jimmies, frosted donuts with extra sprinkles, and birthday cakes decorated with extra rainbow nonpareils. Today, the rainbow food trend has gotten a little out of hand...I'm talking about the "unicorn" frappuccino, bagels dyed so many different colors they taste like plastic, and even the unwarranted rainbow grilled cheese. Despite my colorful obsession, even I know when to say enough is enough – the quality of food should never be ruined for the sake of an Instagram picture, or to jump on some sort of social trend.

Rant over.

As I rappel deeper into adulthood, I refuse to let the child within me dye (pun intended.) I still answer the question – asked much more rarely now – "what's your favorite color?" with "all the colors," and I still add rainbow jimmies (more commonly known as "sprinkles") to just about anything and everything that I can. That includes these sugar cookies that are as crunchy as they are chewy; the perfect word to describe them is "snappy."

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I saw this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, (and sources of inspiration!) Wood and Spoon, and instantly felt childlike excitement. All the colors! As usual, I added some things here, took away some things there, and added my newest discovery, Shimmies. They look like your typical rainbow topping, but shimmery. After recently purchasing these, I knew this was the recipe I had to make to showcase their glimmering glory.

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I baked these cookies for half of the time required, removed the pans from the oven, and slammed them on the counter before popping them back in. This deflated the cookies and allowed them to crisp up and get that cracked top. I think the release of the air inside helped to give them that snappy texture. I also like to bake one batch a little longer than the others, to have a couple darker, crunchier cookies. The rainbow jimmies can be switched out for holiday-themed ones to fit every occasion!

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Rainbow Sugar Cookies

  • 10 tbsp salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup bakers sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, not packed
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup jimmies/sprinkles of your choice

Preheat the oven to 350º and line three baking sheets with parchment paper.  Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, using a hand mixer or standing mixer, beat the sugars and butter until fluffy, and then add the vanilla and egg, beating just until incorporated.  Dump in the dry ingredients and beat just until combined. This will happen very quickly! Add in your colorful candies and beat again very briefly. Using a 2 inch cookie scoop, scoop out dough onto the parchment and space evenly apart, about 2 inches.  I was able to fit 20 onto two standard sized baking sheets, and the last couple on a third.  Bake for 10 to 15 minutes*, depending on your desired color and crispiness. (I always over-bake one batch, for those crunchy cookie lovers in my family.)  Remove from the oven, and cool on the sheets for five to ten minutes before cooling completely on a cookie sheet.
*Note: Make sure to remove cookie sheets halfway through baking time to bang on a counter.

Like I said, these cookies can be made for any holiday or celebration, just switch out the colored candies to fit the theme!  The perfect combination of crunch and chewy, these cookies are for everyone.

My name is Alexandra Jade, but you can call me Alex, or Trin.  I am a Food Studies major at New York University, and a freelance photographer, journalist, and social media pro on the side.  I run the instagram account @twobrunchgirls.