Wednesday 18 December 2013
CLASSIC CHRISTMAS COOKIES: VANILLA BEAN BUTTER COOKIE RECIPE
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg white, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean, ground up)
2 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon coarse salt
½ cup fine sanding sugar
1. Put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in whole egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and salt and mix until combined.
2. Halve dough; shape each half into a log. Place each log on a 12-by-16 inch sheet of parchment. Roll in parchment to 1 ½ inches in diameter, pressing a ruler along edge of parchment at each turn to narrow log. Transfer to paper towel tubes to hold shape, and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Brush each log with egg white; roll in sanding sugar. Cut into ½-inch thick rounds. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment. Bake until edges are golden, 18 to 20 minutes. (cakebrain note: ensure the cookies are golden brown and they'll taste much more flavour as well as a better crunch). Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Store in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.
Nothing says Christmas more than the smell of baking sugar and butter in the oven. 'Tis the season to watch the waistline spread!
This has been a tough year for me baking-wise. There simply is no time for my fave hobby. I do miss it so. I have learned that I need to let go of the notion that I have to bake 8 different cookies and craft together a homemade selection of artisanal cookies and treats for my Christmas giveaways. Not happening, folks! Fulltime teaching, mentoring and mommying doesn't allow me to anymore!
This classic Vanilla bean butter cookie is perfectly easy. I double a batch and keep rolls in the fridge for baking off fresh and gifting. I make another double batch Gluten Free for myself and my GF buddies too. It is such a versatile recipe it was also used for my Tiffany Snowflake cookies pictured below. Give it a try and don't beat yourself up if you can't make the snowflake. It is simply gorgeous as it is packaged in cellophane bags too. Make sure the cookies are baked until golden brown or you won't truly get that lively nutty flavour from the butter. I like mine almost burnt but they don't look as festive. Lol.
Merry Christmas dear readers and Happy New Year!
XMAS GIFTING IDEA (FOR THE TECH-INCLINED)
I am so geeky I sometimes surprise myself! This batch was gifted to IT (love you guys!) and they of course know what a QR code is. You do know what a QR code is, don't you? If you don't know, don't attempt it because you're not tech-inclined and I'm not telling! lol HOHOHO!