This week I made some cute little vanilla bean sugar cookies for my godson's first birthday. I was inspired by these Vanilla Letter Cupcakes by my domestic goddess of choice; Martha Stewart. I adapted Sweetapolita's fantastic recipe for Perfect Sugar Cookies, adding a couple of tweaks of my own. Above is the naked version of my cookie based self obsession! See below for the iced cookies!
You can tell I was a little distracted while baking these from the wildly varying shades of golden brown! Although, I actually prefer the darker cookies for their rich, caramelised flavour.
I love the way vanilla seeds give food (cookies, ice cream, custard etc) that adorable speckled look.
I was super duper lazy and dipped my cookies in icing instead of piping which would have been neater but hey! I'm all about instant gratification! That being said, it does take about 6 hours for the icing to dry on these babies.
Recipe after the jump!
Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies
Adapted from Sweetapolita's recipe for sugar cookies
Makes 60 2-inch cut out cookies
325g plain flour
50g rice flour
225g unsalted butter, softened
180g caster sugar
1 cold egg
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
For the icing I used this stuff; Queen's Royal Icing, which is a mixture of meringue powder and icing sugar. You just add water and boom! Instant royal icing!
I used Wilton Gel Colours to tint my icing; they don't water down the icing at all and the colour range is tops!
Beat the butter and sugar together till just combined. Don't incorporate too much air or the cookies will spread too much. Add the salt, scraped vanilla seeds and the egg and beat again till combined. Add the flours in and mix on a low speed till the dough comes together. Pat into a round flat shape, cover in cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour. Split into halves and roll out to 0.5cm thickness. Cut out 2-inch rounds. Combine the scraps and re-roll and refrigerate for 15 min before cutting out again. Cut out the letters and freeze shapes for 20 min.
Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius and arrange cookies on a parchment lined baking tray. You can place them quite close together (1.5 cm apart) as they won't spread much. Bake for 10 min or until just beginning to turn brown and crisp at the edges. Cool on a wire rack before icing.
Mix together the royal icing as per package directions and tint to desired shade. The icing needs to be the consistency of pouring cream. Drop the cookies face down into the icing then rescue them just before they sink, shake off the excess icing and place face up on a baking sheet. Allow icing to dry for 6 hours or overnight.
Cookies will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.
Over and out!