Vanilla Bean Cookies


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Makes about 24 cookies

This recipe makes a generous amount of dough, just right for a big batch of holiday cookies. If you are decorating these cookies with royal icing, you may want to purchase clear vanilla extract, which will flavor the icing without changing the color. Don't throw away the empty vanilla pod; you can place them it in a jar with granulated sugar to make vanilla sugar.

Whisk together and set aside:
4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Beat together until light and fluffy:
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar

Add and beat to incorporate:
1 Large Egg 1 vanilla bean, split open (scrape seeds into butter mixture)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add and mix thoroughly:
Flour mixture from above

Add, if dough seems dry:
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Mix until ingredients are incorporated. Divide dough into two disks, wrap each in plastic wrap, and chill at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out on a lightly floured counter to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with your favorite Ann Clark cookie cutters, then transfer cookies onto cookie sheets that have been lined with parchment papwer or silicone liners. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly colored. Let cookies cool slightly on cookie sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating with royal icing (in our recipe section).