Double Vanilla Sugar Cookies
The addition of vanilla bean elevates the recipe to a level that puts the dough boy to shame, and the decreased sugar means you can indulge in the sugar cookie without getting a sugar high.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise into 1-inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- colored sanding sugar or other topping (optional)
- In a food processor, combine sugar and vanilla bean; pulse until fine. Press mixture through a mesh strainer to remove and discard any remaining pieces of vanilla bean. Set aside.
- Add vanilla sugar and butter to a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 egg whites, then add vanilla.
- In another medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating on low until just blended.Divide dough into two equal portions. Pat each portion into a disc and wrap in waxed paper. Freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a small dish, lightly beat remaining egg white with a splash of water.
- Working with one portion of dough at a time, roll out until it is 1/8-inch thick. Cut with a 3-inch star or snowflake-shaped cookie cutter, rerolling scraps as necessary (and refreezing briefly if dough becomes too soft), and place cookies on prepared baking sheets. Lightly brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar if desired. Bake for 9 minutes or until set and edges are golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough. To keep crisp, store in a tin (not a plastic container), or bake at 300 degrees for 5 minutes to crisp again.