Sprinkle Sugar Cookies

I woke up today wanting to bake. Big surprise. I was thrilled to find this recipe which we happened to have all the ingredients for, yet it seemed a bit complex for sugar cookies. I mean, storing the dough for 2 hours-2 days? Not gonna happen, not in this house anyway. If I didn't pop those babies in the oven right away I would be like a machine, spoon going from bowl to mouth at lightning speed. Cookie dough is our weakness (yes, our. Zach loves it even more than me, if that's possible).

I changed the recipe up quite a bit and added sprinkles because they give plain ol' sugar cookies such a fun, colorful touch. Wanna know the really neat part? When I took my first bite of cookie, just after burning my tongue because I don't have the patience to wait for them to cool, I was transported back to my childhood. Our family went to Jackson Hole, Wyoming every summer and I have the most wonderful memories of our adventures there. We camped, hiked, whitewater rafted, and best of all....we picnicked. Every day. I miss those picnics and often try to talk Zach into grabbing some K.F.C. and taking it to a park to attempt eating as fumes encircle us in the suffocating Houston humidity. Wonder why he's not so keen on the idea? Anyway, throughout our weeks in Jackson each summer, we would make several trips to Albertsons to get snacks and lunch food for our picnics. My dad would always lead me over to the bakery section and let me pick out cookies, and naturally I would go for the ginormous sprinkle ones. I had forgotten about that until today. I took that first, ridiculously hot bite into a sugar cookie and was taken back to those dreamy days of tranquil mountain streams and crisp, Wyoming air. To be honest, I can't even recall what the Albertsons cookies looked like. I can only remember my dad taking me by the hand and leading me to them, and the way they tasted as the smell of pine needles flooded my nose. It's amazing how food can do that, isn't it? Maybe this is why I eat so many cookies; they're my own personal time machine. (any excuse I can find....)

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. sprinkles

1. Preheat an oven to 350°F.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter on high speed for 2 minutes. On medium speed, gradually add sugar, beating for 2 minutes.

3. Add egg, vanilla, and salt and beat for 1 minute. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the flour and continue beating on low until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, about 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Stir in sprinkles.
5. Roll into one inch balls and place on cookie sheet (note: these cookies don't expand very much so they don't require much spacing)
6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then transport to wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 30-40 cookies, depending upon size

You know the only problem with taking cookies on a picnic?
There's never any milk.

p.s. Check out my big brother Shane's rockin' fanny pack. To not point this out would be totally un-little-sister-like.