Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Rainbow Nonpareil Cake Mix Cookies

Multicolor sprinkle decorations for packaged cookies, cakes, and cake mixes tend to more often be jimmies than nonpareils. These cookies vary from the ones I made when I used the Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip cake mix. Instead of using cake mix that already includes multicolor jimmies, I used basic cake mix and added rainbow nonpareils. (Wilton's product name is Rainbow Nonpareils.)

"Sprinkles, Demystified: An Explanation of All Types" explains a main difference as shape—round for nonpareils and cylindrical for jimmies.
Round Sprinkles: These can more specifically be referred to as nonpareils. These are those teeny-tiny round balls that can come in a single color or in rainbow.

Cylinder Sprinkles: Sprinkles with a cylinder shape are made by mixing up a paste ...a little slower to “bleed” color than the nonpareil type of sprinkle. ....In some parts of the United States, particularly Pennsylvania and the Northeast, this type of sprinkle (the chocolate type in particular, it seems) are referred to as “Jimmies”.
My pixstrip shows the following image areas:
  1. Implements
  2. Ingredients
  3. Stirred cake mix and nonpareils (dry ingredients)
  4. Stirred eggs and oil (wet ingredients)
  5. Blended dry and wet ingredients in the larger bowl
  6. Raw dough in pan
  7. Baked cookies in pan
  8. Cookies on a cooling rack (some flipped back to right side up)
  • Cooky pan(s)
  • Pastry blender
  • Mixing bowls (one medium-large, one small)
  • Measuring cup (optional for cracking eggs individually before pouring them into bowl)
  • Tablespoon for measuring out cooky dough
  • Spatula for scraping dough onto pan
  • Cooky spatula for lifting and transferring baked cookies
  • Cooling rack for baked cookies
  • 1 box vanilla cake mix (I used Betty Crocker French Vanilla.)
  • 4 Tablespoons Wilton Rainbow Nonpareils
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Use the pastry blender to stir the cake mix powder and nonpareils together in a medium-large bowl.
  3. Use the pastry blender to stir the eggs and oil together in a small bowl.
  4. Pour the eggs and oil mixture into the larger bowl and combine the ingredients.
  5. Use a round tablespoon to scoop the dough. Shape to rounded, level, or concave height.
  6. Drop the spoon's dough onto the cooky sheet, using the rubber spatula to ease out each lump.
  7. Bake for about 9 to 11 minutes until the edges are lightly browned.
  8. Use the cooky spatula to lift and transfer the done cookies onto cooling rack.
The batch made 38 cookies, ~65 calories each.

Post-Recipe Thoughts
Those nonpareils in these cookies "bled" slightly into the dough during mixing, turning the dough a light bluish gray. Interestingly, enough of the nonpareils' texture remained so that after baking, the cookies still had some crunchiness within the soft texture. Eh, at some time, I should try another cooky batch with jimmies in an egg-oil-powder dough to see if the jimmies bleed.

A few months ago, I actually did bake a jimmies version, using Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip cake mix, but I used butter instead of oil. Looking at pix I had taken of the process for "EZ Buttery Confetti Cake Mix Cookies", the jimmies did not bleed and tint the egg-oil-powder dough.

The nonpareils came free with a supermarket promotion. Normal price would run about $1.75 for the 3-ounce jar. The four tablespoons amounted to over half the jar, thus, about a dollar's worth. Cake mix tends to run slightly more than a dollar for a 15.25-ounce box. The oil cost about 30¢, and the eggs cost about 34¢.

If I calculate the cookies as having free nonpareils, each cooky comes to a little over 4¢. If I include nonpareil price, each cooky comes to about 9¢. Sure, a big price difference. OTOH, you make them fresh instead of buying them from a store or bakery. Yum—freshness and lower cost!

For a quick reference to price of eggs and oil, scroll to the bottom table at "Whataburger Pancakes, Mix, or Scratch". (I calculated costs of scratch pancake ingredients, an egg and oil being two of the items.)

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