There’s a simple baked good. And there’s a FUN baked good. The difference? Sprinkles of course. They just take things to the next level. Make people ohh and ahh and smile just.because.
Sprinkles can go on everything and in everything. It’s simple and easy. But, they do have a mind of their own and sometimes even mood swings. Is that even a real thing for a sprinkle? I think so. You know what we’re talking about – they roll around, fall off, and create a mess. So how do we use sprinkles and minimize tiny colorful balls all over the kitchen?
How about some history first?
What the general population often call “sprinkles” actually covers several types of candy decorations that are sprinkled randomly over a surface, as opposed to decorations that are placed in specific spots. Makes sense, right? Nonpareils; confetti; silver, gold, and pearl dragéesare all used this way, along with a newer product called “sugar shapes” or “sequins”.
Sanding sugar is a transparent crystal sugar of larger size than general-use refined white sugar. Crystal sugar tends to be clear and of much larger crystals than sanding sugar. Pearl sugar is relatively large, opaque white spheroids of sugar. Both crystal and pearl sugars are typically used for sprinkling on sweet breads, pastries, and cookies in many countries.
Some American manufacturers deem the elongated opaque sprinkles the official sprinkles. In the Northeastern United States, sprinkles are often still referred to as jimmies. Do you call them that? “Jimmies” in this sense, are usually considered to be used as an ice cream topping, while sprinkles are for decorating baked goods, but the term can be used for both.
The sprinkles known as nonpareils in French and American English are tiny opaque spheres that were traditionally white, but that now come in many colors.
Now that we have all that clear, lets get to the real fun!
Sprinkles on cookies:
There are a couple of simple things that you can do to help those sprinkles stick. The easiest thing to do is to brush the tops of the cookies with a little bit of water or milk, using just enough to dampen the cookie dough and no more. This will help the sprinkles stick and won’t change the finished appearance of the cookie when you’re done baking. Take a sheet of notebook paper and fold it in half. As for technique, pour the sprinkles down the “channel” to direct them onto the cookies, rather than shaking the container of sprinkles all over the baking sheet to eliminate the mess we’re looking to avoid.
Btw, if you’re using big, round sprinkles, the above won’t work. You’re going to need to press in the sprinkles when you apply them. Large nonpareils, for instance, need to be “anchored” into the cookie dough, or they simply won’t stay put on the trip from the countertop to the oven. And that would be no fun. And a waste of sprinkles.
Sprinkles on Chocolate:
Want to decorate your bakes good or pretzels with chocolate AND sprinkles? The answer is yes.yes.yes. Extra Yum. Extra Beauty. Extra Fun.
Start with completely cooled cookies, bars, or pretzels. Prepare a small bowl of melted chocolate. Note – the chocolate you want to use here is melted on a double boiler with no water or oil. This will ruin your chocolate, since you want it to harden again after assembling. . Dip the edge of the cookie into the melted chocolate, then lay the dipped cookie on waxed paper. Immediately add decorative sprinkles (or anything you want really) on top of the melted chocolate. Let it it sit until completely dried.
Of course you can use the same method to decorate cupcakes, cake and cookies topped with icing. Just add the sprinkles on top of the icing while it’s still wet so they stick.
~Love from Our Kitchen to Yours,
A Taste of Home in Israel