Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita: Sweet Tooth


Remember the kind of treats you’d pick out as a kid? Blue raspberry, grape, banana—-none tasting like any sort of fruit found in nature, most tinting your teeth a sort of swamp-monster green (which you probably found AWESOME at the time).  Bubblegum ice cream? I mean, do you chew it, do you swallow it?  It was one of my eternal childhood dilemmas.

Lolita is mentioned to have a sweet tooth throughout the text—-probably a combination of her adolescent disregard of things as trivial as nutrition (from my observations high schoolers consider hot Cheetos and Gatorade breakfast) and an amplification of Humbert’s disdain for her uncultured, juvenile palette (I hear adults are more cultured, H-dawg).

I picked a recipe that has a childish whimsy about it—-a faint reference to the Easy Bake Ovens of yore—-but that adults would like also (NOT bubblegum ice cream).  It calls for actual vanilla beans: you might get ID’d trying to lock those bad boys down.

The recipe used is one of Joy the Baker’s—-if you’ve never visited her blog, I highly recommend.  A sassy female with serious cooking chops (love those sassy females).  Here’s the link to Vanilla Bean Confetti Cookies.  Sprinkles!

Vanilla Bean Confetti Cookies

*makes about 18 cookies


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles (I prefer jimmies over nonpareils)


  1. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat until thoroughly combined.
  3. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. The dough will be thick (you may have to finish incorporating the mixture with a spatula). Fold in 1/4 cup of the sprinkles.
  4. Place the remaining 1/4 cup sprinkles in a bowl. Scoop up 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Dip the ball in the bowl of sprinkles to cover lightly. Put the balls on a plate. Repeat with the remaining sprinkles and dough. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours.
  5. Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Transfer the chilled dough balls to the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space in between each ball.
  7. Bake until the cookies have spread and are just beginning to brown around the edges, but are mostly pale and soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. The cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days.


Aaaannnd Sprinkles!


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