Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies

April 29th, 2009

Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies from Sugarlaws

Sometimes you just want to go back to basics.

And when you do, you want the purest, simplest, and best basic recipe you can find.

I think I have appropriately chronicled on this blog my fiance’s love of snickerdoodles.  So when I decided to adapt that perfect recipe into sugar cookies, he was more or less supportive (as long as I made a batch of snickerdoodles, alongside the sugar cookies).

A vanilla bean adds so much to a sugar cookie recipe — those little black flecks are, in my mind, one of the most promising, enticing things you can find in a dessert.  With natural elegance and a huge burst of flavor, I’ll never make sugar cookies without them again.

This recipe is so simple there’s isn’t a lot to write, but I will leave you with a crucial reminder: do not overbake them!  The quickest way to ruin a batch of cookies is to forget to set a timer when they’re in the oven.  Eight minutes, tops, and let them rest a little longer on the pan when they’re cooking if they’re too soft for you.  But really — who has ever met a cookie that’s too soft?

Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies from Sugarlaws

Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.  Add vanilla extract, eggs, and seeds from vanilla bean.

Sift together the baking powder and flour, and add to the wet ingredients.  Shape cookies into balls and place on a greased cooking sheet, flattening slightly with your palm.  Bake for 8 minutes, allow to cool in the baking sheet for 1 minute, and transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 30 cookies.

Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies from Sugarlaws

Tags: desserts · food

23 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Pearl // Apr 29, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    oh my – good use of vanilla beans!

  • 2 Jodye // Apr 29, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    These look so simple and perfect. I’ve already decided, I’m making them on Saturday!

  • 3 Kristen // Apr 30, 2009 at 5:53 am


  • 4 stephchows // Apr 30, 2009 at 5:59 am

    The vanilla bean flecks are the first thing I noticed!! They look divine!

  • 5 Mermaid Sweets // Apr 30, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Yum, I love vanilla bean desserts, sweet and simple is sometimes the best way to go!

  • 6 Kasey // Apr 30, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Keeping it simple is always a good idea. These look so delicate, and I bet fill your house with the most intoxicating smell!

  • 7 AmateurBaker // Apr 30, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Although I’ve always loved baking, I’ve always kept it simple. Now that I have a new mixer, I’ve been trying to expand my goals. A few recipes I’ve seen have called for vanilla beans… but I don’t know where to find them in my grocery store. Could you tell me where they are at yours?

  • 8 Calvin // Apr 30, 2009 at 11:41 am

    I wontz sum!

  • 9 Sean // Apr 30, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    What a simple and generous recipe (30 cookies!!). Will definitely give these a go when I’m feeling lazy one weekend!

  • 10 Lori @ RecipeGirl // May 1, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    I agree… those little flecks do wonders for cookies.  Vanilla-sugar cookies are a perfect way to utilize them.  Have you ever tried them in Choc. Chip cookies?  Yummm!

  • 11 Michelle // May 2, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    i love vanilla bean anything! these look to die for!

  • 12 JT // May 3, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Hi there, I love your food and recipes. I have a “quick healthy eat” food blog of my own. Would you mind adding me to your links?

    Here’s my latest post:

    Thanks! Keep up the delicious work. 🙂

  • 13 Michelle // May 6, 2009 at 8:28 am

    These look lovely, Katy! I’ve been craving cookies for a while now, so I think it’s time to give in to the craving and whip up a batch of these.

  • 14 Eliana // May 7, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    These cookies look incredibly elegant.  Perfect with tea.

  • 15 Emily // May 27, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Made these last night and they are awesome.  Left a few for people at work and they have sought me out to tell me how good they are.  One woman in particular commented on the vanilla bean and said she knows now why they’re so expensive.  Great recipe and relatively easy.  Nothing hard, once I figured out how to scrape the bean.  These really are a good basic cookie and I know I’m making them next weekend for a party and I’ll be whipping up batches and batches at Christmas as well.

    And AmateurBaker, my regular grocery store does not carry vanilla beans.  I had to go to a Fresh Market (kind of like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s) and they are with the spices.

  • 16 Ashley // Jun 18, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Is it possible I’ve spent my entire day reading every recipe on this site!?! I’m totally addicted.  I love the pictures, the stories, the recipes… this is my new favorite site for sure!

  • 17 Lynne // Jul 7, 2009 at 8:22 am

    I decided to try different cookie recipes – for a week long “challenge” – and this was the one I picked from your blog – OMG it is wonderful!!!! everyone in the office loved it – I think the raw batter tastes like vanilla bean ice cream… thanks for the new cookie classic!  can’t wait to make it again.

  • 18 Becky // Jul 15, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    I just made these the other night at midnight (pregnancy cravings, what can I say?). They are so good!!!! Took me a while to figure out the vanilla bean, but SO worth it. Thanks for making my day (and the day of my fellow musicians at band practice, they thank you too)!

  • 19 Care Package | The Adventures of an Epic Baker // Apr 18, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    […] I sent him chocolate biscotti (which, I forgot to take a picture of…weird…) from Confessions of a Tart, peanut butter cookies from Joy the Baker, and vanilla bean sugar cookies from Sugarlaws. […]

  • 20 Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies : Burning down the house // Aug 1, 2011 at 1:58 am

    […] Source: Sugarlaws […]

  • 21 cathryb // Aug 31, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Very yummy receipe. I also used some cinnamon in it to give a bit of extra taste.. very yum and easy.. thanks.

  • 22 What Christmas Looked Like « The Fancy Apron // Dec 26, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    […] sugar, almond milk and vanilla extract.  These were a hit, and we had fun decorating them!  This will be my go-to recipe for sugar cookies from now […]

  • 23 Menu Plan 9/17 and Peach Honey - Home Maid Simple // Nov 13, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    […] – Work social. We’re bringing Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies Tuesday – Lentil Soup Wednesday – Breakfast for Dinner. Eggs, Hashbrowns, Pancakes […]

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