Last week, when I celebrated my birthday, it began with a bang.
Actually, that’s not entirely accurate. More like, it began with the sound of rushing water.
Can you tell where I’m going with this? You’re in for a treat, I can assure. More than I can say for myself.
Cue to me stumbling out of bed at 5 am to investigate what sounded like a downpour of epic proportions only to realize that the sound was coming from inside the house. The bathroom, in fact, where I’m fairly certain that the lid of my toilet was perpendicular to the tank. I can’t be sure since, as it was 5 am, and I was half awake, I wasn’t wearing my glasses. Which didn’t stop my from attempting to Macguvyer the thing back into working order. Without turning off the water supply.
I’m often full of good ideas. Often, but not always. And, not at that moment.
If my life was a movie, the next shot would be an extreme close-up of me covered inthankfully cleantoilet water. With some techno playing in the background, blocking out my swearing.
One thing was certain: I was going to be getting a toilet for my birthday.
A nice compliment to the vacuum that my parents had decided to get me to celebrate growing another year old, and to remind me that I was very much in my thirties. If sounds like I’m making this up. I assure you, I’m not.
Still, it’s hard not to be amused by the whole thing. My first thought after drying myself off and shutting of the water supply was this day can only get better followed quickly by one about how much mileage I could get out of telling the story. I’m eternally in search of the punchline. Sometimes it appears in the most unexpected of places.
And, so, after cleaning up the house, I started my day properlywith cookies and pie (I was born on Pi Day, after all)because it was my birthday, and I could.
What follows is a recipe for my platonic ideal of a cookie. Do I sound pretentious? It’s been well established that I am.
Besides, I began my birthday covered in toilet water.
I’ve earned this. And, probably some more cookies, too.
For the Cookies:
16 tablespoons (225 grams, 2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar
2 tablespoons (50 grams) glucose or 1 tablespoon (25 grams) corn syrup
2 teaspoons (8 grams) clear vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (400 grams) flour
2/3 cup (50 grams) milk powder
2 teaspoons (9 grams) cream of tartar
1 teaspoon (6 grams) baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons (5 grams) kosher salt
1/4 cup (40 grams) rainbow sprinkles
1/2 recipe Birthday Cake Crumb (recipe follows)
For the Birthday Cake Crumb
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons (25 grams) light brown sugar, lightly packed
3/4 cup (90 grams) cake flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt
2 tablespoons (20 grams) rainbow sprinkles
1/4 cup (40 grams) grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon (12 grams) clear vanilla
To make the Birthday Cake Crumb:
Heat the oven to 300°F.
Combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until well combined.
Add the oil and vanilla and paddle again to distribute. The wet ingredients will act as glue to help the dry ingredients form small clusters; continue paddling until that happens.
Spread the clusters on a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes, breaking them up occasionally. The crumbs should still be slightly moist to the touch; they will dry and harden as they cool.
Let the crumbs cool completely before using in a recipe or scarfing by the handful. Stored in an airtight container, the crumbs will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or 1 month in the fridge or freezer.
To make the Confetti Cookies:
Combine the butter, sugar, and glucose in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs and vanilla, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, milk powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and rainbow sprinkles. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step, or you will risk overmixing the dough.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Still on low speed, add the birthday cake crumbs and mix in for 30 seconds?just until they are incorporated.
Using a 2 3/4-ounce ice cream scoop (or a 1/3-cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature?they will not bake properly.
Heat the oven to 350°F.
Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. After 18 minutes, they should be very lightly browned on the edges (golden brown on the bottom). The centers will show just the beginning signs of color. Leave the cookies in the oven for an additional minute or so if the colors don?t match and the cookies still seem pale and doughy on the surface.
Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or an airtight container for storage. At room temp, the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.