donuts with sprinkles

No matter what the occasion, sprinkles can make it more fun. There's just something about those sweet dots that bring a smile to your face. On cupcakes, cookies, ice cream and even pudding, you'll find them all over the place. Drizzling them on desserts is nothing new, but now we're seeing them more in some unexpected places, like on party favors. A unique way to customize your party favors and gifts, sprinkles add more than fun! They allow you to coordinate your sweet treat to the color scheme and really give your guests something to talk about.

By any other name, there still sweet the same

jars of sprinkles

While I call them sprinkles, I have to say that depending on where you live or what part of the country you come from, you'll find them known by a different moniker. Some say jimmies in the in the Eastern part of the United States, while our friends across the pond in British England call them hundreds and thousands because they're so many of them. You might even hear them referred to as "ants" if you're from the western part of the US. Now, if you're a culinary expert or a cooking queen, you'll probably know them by some much more proper names, which can include sanding sugar, crystal sugar, nonpareils, confetti, silver, gold, and pearl dragée, sugar shapes and sequins depending on the size, shape and texture of the sprinkle. Keep in mind that traditional almond dragées (confetti in Italian) are not sprinkles at all but a candy we refer to as Jordan almonds. But, let's face it. No matter what they're called, they're always sweet and delicious-giving your mouth a burst of sugar with every bite.

Who wants onepretzels with sprinkles sprinkle, anyway?

Apparently no one wants just one sprinkle. Too small to be eaten alone and only good when there are a bunch of them, sprinkles are much like grits. You would never eat one grit, and you should never eat just one sprinkle. Go ahead and pour them on. The more the merrier!

These little guys really get around!

Have you ever dropped a jar of jimmies? They're rolling all over the place in no time, and they're hard as ever to pick up or even sweep up off the floor. Even when you're shaking them on your favorite dessert, they have a tendency to bounce around a bit. That's why they need a helping hand to stay in place. Most times, that comes in the form of frosting or icing. But, in other countries, butter is used. Another way they "get around" is on the type of food they're sprinkled on.

In the Netherlands, toast with sprinklesBelgium and Indonesia, they're used as a sandwich topping. Sprinkles are often used as a bread topping in Australia and New Zealand, in the form of fairy bread (white bread spread with butter or margarine with sprinkles over the top.) You can even mix it in the batter and create your own "confetti cake." They slowly dissolve and form little colored spots, giving the appearance of confetti.

Versatile like a chameleon

personalized graham crackers

Admittedly, you'll find these little guys everywhere, and everywhere you find them, they'll look different. On a birthday cupcake, they'll be bright, festive and in a variety of colors. On a 4th of July cake, they'll likely be red, white and blue and shaped like stars. But don't just think they're for kids or casual occasions. The inventors of Snow Caps have been using them for years. Sophisticated sprinkles can be seen on wedding favors. When they're the same color as the icing, they add subtle texture to the dessert. Formed into an intricate lace pattern, they can even be used to create the "wedding dress" affect on this brownie ball. As you can see, there are dozens of ways they can be used to decorate your favorite treat. So go ahead and unleash your creativity with this colorful accent.

bride and groom brownie favor

Colorful and fun, like confetti, let them inspire your event. From birthdays to weddings, there's always a good reason to sprinkle on some fun.