Oh, nostalgia, it’s one of the best feelings! It’s funny how so many different things can bring back floods of nostalgia. A TV show, a home cooked meal, a smell, or even and old lunchbox treat, like Dunkaroos! Dunkaroos were one of those things that if you were lucky enough to have them in your lunchbox, you could practically trade those things for money. They were DELICIOUS, and shareable (if you were even that nice). To be honest, my parents didn’t really buy us Dunkaroos very often, so when they did, it made them even more special. And now? Well, now they are of the utmost nostalgia…
For those who aren’t familiar, Dunkaroos were packets of cookies and frosting. They came in one small package that had a compartment of little round cookies and another compartment of colorful vanilla rainbow frosting. And unfortunately, they were discontinued in 2012. So… cue the homemade aspect!
These homemade Dunkaroos are small round shortbread cookies, made with only 4 ingredients, and are paired with a creamy rainbow vanilla buttercream. Like the original, but dare I say better? Honestly, I don’t know if Dunkaroos can even get any better than the original, but we can sure as hell try.
Texture and Taste
These cookies are small, buttery, a little but sweet and slightly crumbly. They snap when you break them in half, yet melt in your mouth! They are super simple four ingredient mini shortbread cookies and they pair perfectly with the buttercream frosting for dunking.
Making the dough for the Homemade Dunkaroo cookies
With only 4 ingredients, they are pretty simple to make! But let’s walk through the process step by step to make sure you’re left with perfectly buttery cookies. The four ingredients in these cookies are:
- Unsalted butter
- Cane sugar
- All purpose flour
- Kosher salt
Creaming the Butter
The first step will be creaming the butter & sugar. To do this, you’ll need to make sure your butter is at room temperature! Otherwise, it won’t mix into a smooth texture. To get your butter to room temperature, simply leave it out on the counter for about 2 hours prior to use, OR microwave it. However, if you’re microwaving it, be very careful of the time! If I ever need the help of the microwave to get my butter to room temp, I’ll microwave it for 5 seconds on medium and then flip the stick of butter over onto its other side and microwave again for 5 more seconds. At that point, your butter should be soft but not melted. A good test to see if your butter is at room temperature is if you can lightly press into the butter and it makes an indent.
Once your butter is to room temperature, add it to a large mixing bowl. Mix the butter either with an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer and mix for 3 – 4 minutes. While this might sound excessive, we want to cream the butter very thoroughly here for 2 -3 minutes until it is very pale in color and smooth.
Once the butter has reached this point, go ahead and stream the cane sugar into the butter, continuously mixing. Once all cane sugar has been added into the butter, mix for another 2 – 3 minutes to thoroughly incorporate it and break down some of the sugar granules.
Adding the Dry Ingredients
Finally, for the dough for these homemade dunkaroos, we just need to add the dry ingredients into the butter and sugar! This is as simple as adding the flour and salt into the mixing bowl with butter and sugar and mixing to combine. During this step, I recommend mixing with a rubber spatula to really help incorporate the dry ingredients. Continue to fold the butter mixture and flour together until everything is fully incorporated.
Refrigerating the Shortbread Dough
The next step is just rolling out the dough and refrigerating it so that the butter can resolidify! The refrigerator is a seemingly minute but vital step to these cookies. What this does is return the butter to a more solid state so that the cookies don’t spread too far when they’re in the oven.
The easiest and most efficient way to roll out dough for the homemade dunkaroos is to grab a large piece of plastic wrap. The plastic wrap also will help us easily move the dough to the fridge when it is time! So, place all of the dough onto the plastic wrap and form it into rectangle with your hands. Then, drape the other half of the plastic wrap loosely over the dough so that it is fully covering the dough. Grab a rolling pin (or a wine bottle if you don’t have a rolling pin…) and roll it into a rectangle, about 1/2 centimeter thick. After rolling out the dough, pick it up in the plastic wrap and carefully move it to the fridge for about 1 hour.
Cutting the Cookies
The last step before baking the cookies is to cut them! After an hour of the dough resting in the fridge, remove it from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, remove the cookie dough from the plastic wrap and grab something small and round to cut the dough with. I recommend something that is about 2.5 inches in diameter… so either a very small biscuit cutter or the wide end of a piping tip for piping frosting. With your cookie cutting utensil of choice, press it straight down into the dough to cut out your cookies. Repeat cutting the cookies you’ve used all of the rolled dough.
Finally, place the cookies onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 1 inch apart and bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 minutes. *Note* if you are using a larger cookie cutter, this recipe will still work, you may just need to bake slightly longer!
Making the Vanilla Rainbow Buttercream Frosting for Dipping
The buttercream frosting is fairly simple to make and similar to the cookies in that we cream the butter! We’ll need the electric hand mixer or stand mixer to cream the butter again for this. We will again need to use room temperature butter. Begin by adding it to a large mixing bowl and use the electric mixer to cream the butter until it is very pale in color and smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Then, add in the powdered sugar about 1/4 cup at a time so that it doesn’t fly all over outside of the bowl and continue mixing… powdered sugar tends get everywhere if you try to add it in all at once. 🙂 Finally, add in the vanilla and rainbow sprinkles and mix for another 5 – 10 seconds to incorporate.
I hope these homemade Dunkaroos bring you as much nostalgia as they give me! Enjoy. 🙂