Sugar Saucers

Recently I discovered (and shared on Twitter) that there were 243 cookbooks in my apartment. The number has since risen to 245. I was both proud and horrified by the number. It is a lot of books. It is especially a lot of books for a small, one-bedroom apartment. Poor Bryan. At least a hundred of them are in piles around the house, so my new years resolution is to find a storage solution for all of these books. Wish me luck.

One of the two recent additions to the collection was Piece of Cake: Home Baking Made Simple by David Muniz, David Lesniak and Rachel Allen (published in the UK as Baked in America- which is a much better title). It is a book from the two guys who own Outsider Tart bakery in London. The bakery sells American baked goods (whoopie pies, cupcakes, layer cakes, etc) to Brits, and apparently is popular. I didn’t know much about the bakery, and somehow missed the US release of the book back in the Autumn. I honestly have no idea why I bought this cookbook. Why do we buy most things? Boredom? I read a thing? I was hungry? Anyway, I added another general baking book to the dozens that I own and depleted even more of my expendable income. Bad idea, right?

Wrong! I am here to say, it is a great cookbook. I read so many of these things that I have become skilled at recognizing the real deal. It is the real deal, the recipes are great. I have baked two cakes, both of which we loved, and now these cookies. These insane rainbow-sprinkled cookies that I was afraid I would be disappointed by.

Not liking chocolate, I have eaten a lot of sugar cookies in my day. They are almost always bad—too chewy, too sweet, too eggy, too vanilla-y. I expected these to fall into one of those categories, but I was feeling self-destrucive and baked them anyway. They defied all of the categories of failure (and my expectations!) and are probably the best sugar cookie I have ever eaten. Seriously. They have a crisp edge and a soft center—soft, not chewy. Chewy would be bad. Soft, almost like a cake. Anyway, I am crazy about this recipe. And also, obviously, sprinkles! Sprinkles are just cool. I don’t care what Alice Waters says. Also, I actually believe I like the flavor of rainbow sprinkles. I don’t know if it is the Red 40 or food wax or what, but I think they taste really good. Sorry.

So anyway, this book, which I expected to be disappointed by, is on its way to becoming one of favorite baking books. Oh, life!

You’ll see from the pictures that I also made a classy (I hate that word!) version with white sprinkles. Forget it. Use rainbow. They taste better. The recipe suggests making GIANT cookies. I respectfully disagree. I like smaller cookies, because the crisp edge is my favorite part. I used a 2 oz ice cream scoop. You should do what you like! Also, the recipe can easily be halved. And if you don’t want to roll in rainbow sprinkles, you can top with sugar or glaze….but I can’t vouch for either of those options.

Sugar Saucers (from Piece of Cake: Home Baking Made Simple by David Muniz, David Lesniak and Rachel Allen)

  •  4 cups (600g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) canola oil
  • 1 cup (225g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (200g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • rainbow sprinkles, for decorating

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter on medium speed for about a minute. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the oil, and then add the two sugars, the eggs, and the vanilla. Make sure to stir well after each of the additions. Slowly add the flour mixture, about a quarter at a time. Mix just until the flour disappears. The dough will be soft. Refrigerate for at least an hour before proceeding (up to 3 days).

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

Using a 2-ounce ice cream scoop (or up to a 5 oz scoop), divide the dough into balls. Roll each ball in rainbow sprinkles until thoroughly coated.  Place them on baking sheets with enough room for them to spread (if you are making giant cookies you will probably only get 4 per sheet). Use your fingers to flatten each ball slightly.

Bake for 12-20 minutes, depending on the size. Bake until the edges start to turn golden. Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.



74 comments to “Sugar Saucers”

  1. So happy you posted these! I’ll keep my eye out for that cookbook and I love the look of these cookies. I’ll bake up a batch for a good friend I’ll be visiting next week. Hooray!

  2. These are super cute, and the recipe looks relatively easy, which I love. And don’t worry, you’re not the only hopeless collector of cookbooks. There are worse things to spend money on, right?

  3. You are delightful. And yes, how lovely to find an unexpectedly wonderful cookbook! I’ll be looking for this one, if only to flip through the pages — though when it comes to cookbooks, I too am easily swayed…

  4. Reading this post spawned a crazy hour of googling Outsider Tart and reading reviews for Baked in America (I agree, better title). And THANK YOU for bringing this to my attention. Not only does this fulfil my brief of ‘find something easy to make with my sister that she can bring to a friend’s sleepover’ but has also given me Friday night plans! I’m in London for a job interview – eek – and I’m meeting my boyfriend afterwards to go to Outsider Tart’s new Southern food joint, Blue Plate, followed by a trip to their bakery for a whoopie pie and to collect gourmet dog treats!

  5. Oh wow 245 cookbooks that is a impressive collection. I think I have 10 maybe 15… I don’t really like cookbooks that much, don’t get inspire to cook from them as much as blogs. They are fun to flip through sometimes though.

  6. These are so cute and I’m picturing Mardi Gras colors. :-) There should probably be an intervention for me and cookbooks as I have over 600. I just got David Lebovitz’s “Ready for Dessert” and have half the recipes flagged. I love his Ginger Cake.

  7. OMG, don’t apologize for liking rainbow sprinkles! I LOVE rainbow sprinkles, even if I’m the only 30-something dumping them all over my frozen yogurt like a kid. These cookies look fabulous, and I’m definitely bookmarking these to make later!

  8. Classy (white) and SASSYYYY (rainbow)!!!!

  9. Love the look of these – and so would my 7 yr old! I share your cookbook affliction… Over the holidays I culled my collection.. Fortunately one of the kids down the street is just starting hers, which made it easier to part with them.

  10. You’re classy and sassy, Mary Anne!

    Julie- Yes, I try to find good homes for all of the cookbooks I am not using. Which does feel good.

    Louise- 600! (I am sure that will be me one day soon, but still-600!)

  11. Wow!!! Pretty cookies :)

  12. Yum! I don’t even make cookies often, and I want to make these. That first photo is DIVINE.

  13. Haha, very playful. At first glance I thought it was a muffin or a cupcake. This brings back so many childhood memories.

  14. You’re fine as long as you don’t move! I’m curious, how are your cookbooks organized?

  15. Hi Ileana- They are not organized in any way. Yes, so every time I need a particular book I have to search. Organizing is another goal for 2013. Ha.

  16. I love sprinkles. LOVE. I used to get sprinkle milkshakes – which turn a disgusting gray color, but are delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  17. Delicious looking! And, congratulations on being the winner of the 2012 best food blog!

  18. I think I have half that many cookbooks, though after awhile I run out of space and have to give some away (which I hate). This cookie – is an especially good for parties with kids.

  19. I adore rainbow sprinkles, colours are so pretty. If they are adorning what happens to be a very good biscuit recipe then you should be allowed to decorate with such things! There are so many wonderful bakeries in London now, the choice is fantastic. Too many temptations, not to mention the amazing chocolatiers :)

  20. Tim, my sister doesn’t cook or bake and she has probably 2000 cookbooks. I think she had a stove with one working burner for about ten years, and it wasn’t for lack of money. At least my books are well used and fairly organized. I also have an index book to keep track of recipes or I’d probably never find them again. And I make notes in my books because if something was either bad or had a low Goodness-to-Work ratio (GTW ↓), I won’t just remember if I look at the recipe again in two years. I just got another PB Studio Wall Shelf.

  21. Beautiful cookies. I want one right now.
    Love the happy colors. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Oh my God. These are *not* sugar saucers. These are (probably going to taste way better than) the rainbow sprinkle cookies you can find at a million bakeries in Brooklyn, that, when I was a kid, I used to beg my mother to buy for me when we went to buy bread or cake to bring to a neighbor’s for coffee. I just squealed SO loud when I saw this. Can’t wait to make them, thank you for sharing the recipe!

    Rainbow sprinkles are amazing. When my husband and I moved into our home a few years ago, I think it was one of the first things I put in our shopping cart when we went to the supermarket for our first big shopping trip. Priorities, I’ve got those.

  23. YES! These look perfect. Anything with rainbow sprinkles (jimmies!) is so right. Growing up always and to this day occasionally, orange sherbet + rainbow jimmies was my go-to ice cream combo; nothin’ too classy there, fortunately.

  24. Thanks for posting this recipe. I have been baking cookies for 50 years. I have a very similar recipe from the 1960’s, but the proportion of butter to oil was 1 cup each and the method was to drop balls of dough on cookie sheet and flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. The texture was as you described above. Rolling in colorful sprinkles sounds so much better. I will make these for my grandkids for sure! How colorful and fun! No reason to keep the cookie sprinkles in the drawer until next Christmas.

  25. What was the other cookbook?

  26. I love taking on your recipes and recommendations. In the last 4 months or so I’ve made at least 10 of the recipes from your blog for my boyfriend and myself, and this one has been one of the biggest hits! So delicious, but so rich we could only finish one each in one sitting! Thanks for all your inspiration!

  27. Good to hear, Callum! Thanks for checking in.

  28. Oh my, these remind me of my childhood – we would pick these up at Harvest Bakery in Bristol, CT on the way to my grandmother’s house. I can’t wait to try and make them at home!!

  29. oh, tim. thank you so much for making me feel better about my cookbook collection, which has risen to around 50, and which was starting to make me feel guilty. how nice to know that I can multiply by five, and only then start–start!–to feel guilty. ;)

    these cookies look fun! I’m headed to a party for a bunch of five-year-old girls this week and I bet they would be a hit with the kiddos as well as the adults. just one question: using the 2oz scoop, do you remember how many you got out of the recipe?

  30. Wowsers, these are super kewl! Can you get these sprinkles online… Can’t seem to find anything nearly as nifty in Australia!

  31. Hi Tim,

    Seeing as it was painfully cold outside today and I had the company of my Trevian daughter, I stayed indoors baking these. One word-WOW! My girl had all her buds over and they gorged on them, so much so that I had to hide a few for my son and husband. They are amazing! Thanks for the recipe!

    Stay warm :-)

  32. These are awesome cookies!!! The first batch just came out of the oven – absolutely yummy. I’m not a baker – I don’t even own a mixer – but these were super easy to make. Can’t wait to bring some to the office to wow my co-workers. Thanks for sharing and the pictures are beautiful.

  33. Yum! I’m going to make these for my daughter’s 5th birthday.

  34. Hi Jenny- I think I got about 30 cookies…but I didn’t count. It is a big batch of cookies, because even a 2oz scoop is pretty hefty.

  35. Hello All-

    I’m not sure if we should be crashing this party, but I am one of the David’s from Outsider Tart. Many, many thanks for all the kind words and enthusiasm drummed up by a little butter and sugar.

    If I may, a quick insight into the nutball world that is publishing…when the opportunity was given to us to release the book back home (hello mothers in NJ and Nawlins) we thought “wowza” how perfect is this with the title being what it is in the UK. Well, the American publisher thought it wouldn’t appeal to the American market and for that reason it didn’t make retail sense to keep the title so at the very last moment we were asked to come up with an option. On British shores we had lobbied for the cover photo available in the states but they nixed it thinking it looked like a murder mystery (at some point you just have to throw your hands up). So while we were thrilled to use the originally intended image we had about a day to come up with an alternative and thus a title was born. I’m here to tell you there exists a proof of a cover that combines the two. Maybe one day…

    It’s great fun to see you all enjoying this and thanks for making our day/week/year from two expats in gray Londontown.

  36. David! It is not considered crashing if the party was thrown in your honor. Thanks for the back story on the titles/covers. I’m having a hard time imagining a scenario in which looking like a murder mystery is a bad thing, but oh well. It is a fantastic book! Thanks for sharing your recipes.

  37. I made these for study break at my dorm last night (every wednesday a student signs up to make a snack for the rest of the dorm) and they were SO good. Oh my gahd. I’m a sprinkle fiend myself (I eat bowlfuls of them at the dining hall… They’re one of the only edible things there). I was so excited when I saw these. THANK YOU TIM, you’re the only one who understands that rainbow sprinkles ARE delicious.

  38. Made them, loved them, will make them again.

  39. Hi Tim! I’m new to this site and absolutely love it! Can’t wait to read more soon.

  40. You own 245 cookbooks??!!

    Piker :D

    I think I own somewhere between 1500 and 2000. I used to work a few hours a week in a cookbook store. I ended up every week deeper (WAAAAY deeper) in debt. I’m sure your husband will be happy to know that you are the very model of restraint ; )

    Interestingly enough, my teenage daughter, who loves to bake, doesn’t turn to cookbooks. She looks for video recipes; my husband calls her the Youtube chef.

  41. I love pretty much everything about this post. I recently joined Eat Your Books, and so could no longer avoid the fact that I own a ridiculous 589 cookbooks. So I feel your pain. And I also make random cookbook purchases, often sight unseen–and just like with you, I then have the joy of discovering a total gem (not every time of course, but at least sometimes). I love sugar cookies (although we will have to respectfully disagree about whether chewy is ever good lol) and so am pinning these to make for my kids. And now I am off to contemplate buying the book haha!

  42. Ha, Carollina! I literally could not fit 2000 cookbooks in my apartment, so if nothing else we live in very different homes. I don’t think I should ever work at a cookbook store. ; )

  43. Eeek! At least you had the courage to count yours! After shuffling mine from one country to another, then buying several bookshelves to house them and then shuffling them from shelves to couch, to floor and back onto said shelves after painting the room they live in, I feel I can eat just about anything in any of them after the workout they gave me! Maybe even saucer-sized sprinkle-fied sugar cookies! :D

  44. Tim, you are responsible for some of the cookbooks I’ve acquired in the last two years, most recently “China Moon”. Her cookies look like they’d pair well with some of your homemade ice creams. I have more than a few entrees flagged. :-)

  45. most of my cookbooks are in a box in my friend’s basement back in canada. (how sad) i wish i could have brought more, but cookbooks are heavy! i brought “jamie at home”, an oldie but a goodie. the rustic farm pics keep me feeling at home, over here in the middle of the world.

  46. OMG these are the best cookies of all time. I could eat sprinkles by the spoonful, so these are right up my ally. Five stars! (measured each cookie to exactly 2 oz and they baked in 19 minutes)

  47. Yes, please. I agree with the person above me – I could eat sprinkles with a spoon, too. Totally making these tonight.

  48. Awesome five star cookies! I didn’t think there could be a sugar cookie recipe better than mine (via Jeff Smith Frugal Gourmet, dating myself much?). The recipe is very close to mine, with an extra stick of butter and those sprinkles (who knew?) taking them near to cookie nirvana. These are amazing. I’m baking my second batch since your post. Addictive might be another adjective.

  49. Awesome, Willy! So glad you liked them. I agree, I think they are pretty perfect.

  50. We made these today and they indeed are delicious. BUY LOTS OF SPRINKLES. In our supermarket, you can buy large jars of sprinkles by the ice cream toppings. You need at least 2 9-ounce jars of sprinkles. Thanks for posting the fun recipe.

  51. Good advice, Suzzanne!

  52. LOVE these cookies. An italian market in my area sells these. I gobble up the colored sprinkle ones before anyone else can have them. They really are the best!

  53. This might be my favourite sugar cookie recipe, too! The sprinkles didn’t do much for me, so I rolled some in cinnamon sugar and some in cardamon sugar and left some plain. They’re very good.

    I love your site!

  54. We jiust made a batch of these; some with sprinkles, and others by leaving them out, but instead pressing a finger in the center and filling it with raspberry jam. before baking Cannot decide which is more sensational…our daughter loves the sprinkles, though…
    Our little family remains grateful to you for many fun afternoons and evenings of cooking.

  55. I made these today with my 3 year old using red, pink, and white sprinkles for V-day. We had so much fun and they were delicious. We ran out of sprinkles (two big tubs was not enough) and used cinnamon on a few- I may have even liked those better. But the ones with sprinkles are gorgeous. Thx!

  56. Glad everyone is enjoying them. It is a lot of sprinkles, huh?

  57. This makes me so happy.

  58. I made these last week and my family has been raving about them! They are on my husband’s top 10 list.

  59. made a batch of these for our 4H club thank you cookie plates. i of course saved some for home. my husband does not usually like cookies, but he LIKED these! Just the right amount of sweet and vanilla

  60. We are kindred spirits. I have collections of books as well, and probably close to your count in cookbooks. (More in subjects of communication, achievement science, and faith.) That said, I think I can help you relieve Brian of book columns. I found a fabulous cart that takes up very little space but holds hundreds of books. Google “Saefco + Scoot Double-Sided 6-Shelf Book Cart”. Amazon might have it. We bought it from another site. While my hubby had some choice words for it while he was putting it together, it is wonderFUL — and I do mean FULL. They have a single side cart as well. Actually, I’d like one more, but will wait until my husband memory of birthing it dissipates.

  61. I am obsessed with ALL your recipes! These sprinkle cookies in particular were my childhood FAVORITE, I’m so glad other people appreciate them as much as i do!!

  62. This recipe and a pointer to your site is on Serious Eats today. I love these cookies.

  63. I’m so so late to be weighing in on these, but I have to tell you, they are amazing! I made them last night with my kiddos (I see these in Gabe’s future in a few years). The recipe was simple enough that the kids were able to help with the measuring and mixing, and oh was rolling them in sprinkles fun! Then the cookies. Oh my. The cookies. So delicious! Thank you.

  64. Hi K! So glad you liked them. They remain a favorite here, too. Can’t wait to bake with Gabe. : )

  65. BTW, I made them by the weights first and then made them again this weekend (cause wow do my kids adore them) according to the measurements of flour and sugars. Entirely different cookies. I usually measure pretty true to weight, so I was surprised. When I looked at a few sources on standard conversion, it seems like the weights are heavy, i.e., more than the measurements are typically calculated as. I used Cooks Illustrated, King Arthur Flour and a third source for the weight to volume/measurement. Thought I would mention it to you! Gorgeous cookies either way. Thank you so much. Your blog continues to be absolutely amazing.

  66. Hi K! Thanks for the heads up, I haven’t tried these by weight so it is good to know. Glad you’re enjoying the site! Happy baking!

  67. Tim, Do you have a favorite brand of jimmies? Wilton has big containers of them at our grocery store, but what they call “Rainbow Jimmies” does not have either purple or blue ones. I want to make a cake from “BAKED Occasions” for my birthday, and I’d like to go whole hog. : )

  68. Hi Louise! I buy whatever our grocery store happens to have, it varies. I’m not even sure of the brands. But what about these?

  69. Those look great and are really reasonable. Tomorrow I’m making a trip to our local Mennonite bulk store to get holiday baking supplies. I always leave with $200 of chocolate, dried fruits, nuts, etc. but this gives me a great option. Thanks.

  70. Bethany Mueller says:

    December 6th, 2014 at 11:24 am

    I am wondering if I could use this recipe to make sugar cookies to decorate for Christmas? I’m unsure if they would roll out well. Do you have any thoughts on this?

  71. Hi Bethany- Nope. This would not work at all. It is a drop cookie dough and would be difficult to roll and would not hold a shape. My favoite cookie to decorate is this: There is a little cream cheese in the dough and glaze, it’s one of my favorite cookies ever.

  72. have you tried these with all oil instead of the butter?

  73. Hi Sharona- Nope, have not tried.

  74. I have made this recipe numerous times, and it is an all around hit. Always requested for parties and for kids, who then get sugar high and crazy after eating them. I moved to Colorado a few years ago and was homesick for Chicago food when I found this recipe. It reminded me of the cookies from home at the local polish bakeries. This is my go to recipe for kids and adults alike. Thanks for posting :)

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