I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the new cookbook from Shauna Sever called Pure Vanilla to review. It is a beautiful cookbook with elegant recipes and superb pictures. And it is all dedicated to the lovely aromatic-ness (new word there for you!) and deliciousness of vanilla!
The first few pages are all about vanilla – the history, varieties and some “FAQs” and then there are chapters dedicated to breakfasts, cakes and pies, cookies and bars, candies and confections, custards and creams, and drinks. The recipes all look amazing and I can’t wait to try more!
I started with what is called the “Heirloom Vanilla Sugar Cookies”. They are described to be “sandy textured but tender with a gorgeous pale-golden hue” and that seems pretty accurate! I love the tenderness of the cookie with the delicious “super-vanilla” taste of vanilla. They are definitely worth making again and although there is no reason you can’t make them regularly throughout the year, they would work beautifully as a new addition to your Holiday baking!
Super Vanilla Cookies
adapted slightly from Pure Vanilla, makes about 3 dozen cookies
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup butter, at room temp
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup icing/confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp vanilla powder (or another 1 tsp of vanilla)
- about 1/4 cup Vanilla sugar (I have some as shown in the picture but you can make your own by putting a vanilla bean – even an empty one that you have scraped the bits out of – into 2 cups of white sugar and leaving it for about a week)
- Preheat oven to 350° and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.
- In a small measuring cup, measure the oil and then add the egg and whisk.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugar (regular sugar & icing sugar) and butter together until fluffy and pale, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add the oil and egg mixture. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
- Scoop dough (I used both a 4Tb and a 1.5Tb cookie scoop to get both big and small cookies) onto the cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass, dip the glass into the vanilla sugar to coat it and then press it onto the ball of cookie dough to flatten it. The first one won’t pick up a lot of sugar but the moistness of the cookie will provide the moisture to pick up enough sugar for each cookie after (you can re-sugar the first one of course!) You can then sprinkle the cookies with decorative sugar if you want a more festive cookie.
- Bake 10-12 minutes until pale golden and just slightly browned on the edges. Allow the cookie to cool on the baking sheet 2-3 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.