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Celebrate Good Times

May 8, 2011

To put it mildly, I am a birthday fanatic. Streamers, balloons, wrapped gifts, and  homemade cakes and frosting are non-negotiable when it comes to a birthday celebration in our household. But yesterday, for my son’s 8th birthday (eighth! birthday!) I upped the ante. I made sprinkles.

My son has always been a lover of sprinkles. For his third birthday, he didn’t care what kind of cake or frosting was involved, the only stipulation was that blue sprinkles adorn it. Two weeks later, on a humid 95 degree day in May, when we were frantically trying pack up two suburbans and a trailer in order to move from Wisconsin to Minnesota, I plopped him on the kitchen floor with the vial of remaining sprinkles from his birthday celebration (if you know me at all, you realize how desperate I must have been to keep him out from under our feet!) and let him chow down.  I’m quite certain it’s one of his greatest memories to date.

These were a cinch to make. The ingredients are minimal – basically a modified icing recipe with powdered sugar, milk and some corn syrup.  Piping them did take a bit of time and some patience, but not much skill (as is evident by the complete lack of any straight lines of piped sprinkles, I am not an expert piper). The best part about making these  is that sprinkles don’t have to be uniform in shape and size – so if some are bigger than others, or two run together – it’s completely fine.

Initially, I tried using a pastry bag for piping these but ran into a couple of problems: the first being that you need a very, very, very small tip; the second being that you’re not working with a large quantity of liquid, so it tends to pool in the hard plastic tip. I found it much easier to snip off a very (VERY) small corner of a ziploc bag and use that for piping instead.

If you struggle at all with filling pastry bags, try setting the bag in a large, stable glass before filling it. Doing this will keep the bag propped up and open, and leave you with both of your hands free for spooning or pouring in your icing.

When piping the sprinkles, use light but constant pressure, and lift up rather than over as you work… like I imagine the machines that make Hershey’s kisses do.

Truthfully, I have no idea how long these sprinkles will keep, because I used every last one of them to top the most sprinkle-laden cake the world has ever seen…. All in the name of a very special birthday for a very special eight year old sprinkle lover.

Homemade Sprinkles

Adapted from Kitchen Daily

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 scant tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Food coloring (I used – and recommend – gel based)

Mix first four ingredients together until smooth and combined. Divide into as many small bowls as you are going to have colors and mix with a small amount of food coloring until you achieve desired color. Spread out a large sheet of parchment paper on a work surface.

Working with one color at a time, spoon or pour mixture into a ziploc bag, keeping everything in one corner as much as possible. Snip off a teeny, tiny piece of the corner. Pipe a couple of sprinkles, placing tip directly on parchment and applying light pressure to the plastic bag.  Gently lift the bag up until the stream of icing is broken. If you find that the corner you snipped isn’t big enough carefully trim off a tiny bit more until sprinkles are the desired size.

Let sit out until completely dry (mine sat for about 15 hours – overnight). Using hands or a bench scraper, gently remove sprinkles from parchment.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. AmyB permalink
    May 9, 2011 9:45 am

    What a good idea! They look like those candies I used to love eating off of the paper when I was a kid. Were they called DOTS?

  2. Jen Bourget permalink
    May 9, 2011 10:04 am

    Did you know that one of my favorite things in the whole wide world is sprinkles TOO!!!??? I’m so glad I share this addiction with Aiden…I feel honored! I have a hard time eating ice cream without sprinkles.

    Also, NOTHING beats piping out of a plastic baggie!

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