Alison Roman's birthday cookies recipe
Birthday cake isn’t in everyone’s baking wheelhouse, which I get. Or maybe it’s not in the realm of possibilities because there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to measure, mix, bake, cool and frost something. Or maybe you need to bring a birthday dessert somewhere and you need something that won’t smush, squash or melt.
Well, then, allow me to introduce you to these cookies. They taste like birthday cake, only take 30-ish minutes to make, and look cute sliced into triangles with a candle stuck inside. Just bake them, birthday or not.
The dough can be made five days ahead, wrapped tightly and refrigerated (or frozen for up to one month). The cookies can be baked three days ahead and stored airtight at room temperature.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
6 large egg yolks
150g (¾ cup) sugar
1 tsp (5g) vanilla extract
170g (6oz) unsalted butter, cut into 1cm (½in) pieces, at room temperature
220g (1½ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
75g (⅓ cup) sprinkles, plus extra for topping
1 tbsp (12g) baking powder
1 tsp (4g) salt
flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F)/160C fan/gas mark 4. Line a 20cm (8in) or 23cm (9in) cake tin with a round of baking paper (or, if baking two, line two cake tins).
2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle (or using a medium bowl and an electric hand-held mixer), beat the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla together on medium speed until extremely pale and fluffy, looking almost like hollandaise or aioli, 4-5 minutes.
3. With the mixer running, add the butter a few pieces at a time, waiting until the little pieces fully incorporate into the mixture before adding more. Continue adding until all the butter is incorporated and your mixture is pale and smooth, another 4–5 minutes.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, the 75g (⅓ cup) sprinkles, the baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the buttery yolks, beating just to blend.
5. Divide the dough in half, then freeze or refrigerate whatever you aren’t planning on baking. Pat one disc of dough into the cake tin. Sprinkle with another 2 tablespoons of sprinkles and a bit of flaky salt.
6. Bake until shiny, golden brown and slightly puffed on top, 20–25 minutes; it will look like a very flat birthday cake (if you like yours on the softer, chewier side, bake closer to 20 minutes).
7. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Transfer to a cutting board and slice into little wedges (I try to avoid cutting it in the cake tin, lest I scratch it). Repeat with the other disc of dough, now or later.
Read Telegraph Magazine's exclusive interview with Alison Roman here
Recipe from Sweet Enough by Alison Roman (Hardie Grant Books, £28), published on April 5. Order your copy at books.telegraph.co.uk