Vanilla Bean Cookies with Raspberry Filling
Anybody else out there love sugar cookies but only make them at Christmas time? When I made my annual trip in December to the top shelf with the cookie cutter box, I discovered a few heart shaped cutters that I’d forgotten about and made a mental note to make Valentine’s cookies this year.
And then I blinked, and it was a week into February.
So, today, my toddler and I made my favorite rolled cookie: vanilla bean cookies with vanilla bean glaze and raspberry jam. These cookies are delicious and beautiful with their little tiny vanilla bean specks and jewel-toned filling.
If you haven’t used vanilla beans before, run a sharp knife all the way down a bean, cutting it into two long pieces. Run the tip of the knife along the inside of the bean, pushing up black vanilla goodness as you go. I order my vanilla beans on amazon.com because I find they are prohibitively expensive at my grocery store.
Yield: 2-3 dozen cookies
Prep Time: about 1 hour (including chill time)
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies
These are my go-to cookies. They're easy to make, fun for kids, and full of perfect vanilla flavor.
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2/3 c. cane sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean, cut in half and scraped, reserving vanilla caviar
2 1/3 cups unbleached white flour
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (or using a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until thoroughly combined.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the egg, vanilla, baking powder, salt, and vanilla bean caviar. Beat well and scrape the sides again.
- Add the flour and mix just until it is combined.
- Put some saran wrap on the top of the bowl and refrigerate until you're ready to bake (or at least 30 minutes).
- Preheat oven to 350.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to about a 1/4" thickness and cut. If the dough cracks, just give it few minutes to warm up. Cut out your shapes, then carefully transfer the dough to an ungreased cookie sheet. Ideally, do like-sized cookies at the same time, but if you're working with kids who want to try all different shapes, group the smallest cookies in the middle so they don't burn.
- Bake for 7-8 minutes, depending on the size. The cookies should be golden around the edges. Transfer to a cooling rack. Continue to work in batches until the dough is gone (or freeze whatever you don't want to use). Let the cookies cool completely before icing (recipe follows).
I love this glaze. It's pretty, dries hard, doesn't have any bizarre ingredients, and can be painted on, which is super fun for kids (and grown ups).
1 c. powdered sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons water (or milk, if you prefer a richer flavor)
Stir the powdered sugar, vanilla bean caviar, vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons of water. Add the additional tablespoon of water if the glaze is too thick (it should coat a spoon and drip off very slowly). Using a pastry brush, paint the glaze onto the cookies. It will dry quickly.
If you want the red, jammy filling, spread raspberry or strawberry jam in between two cookies, and sandwich them together.
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking's Rich Sugar Cookies
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