Blog written by: Jacqueline Greaves
Another gloomy and rainy day in New York. Yesterday I baked over 16 dozen cookies and not sure what to do today. However, perhaps this will make your day a little lighter. Here is my vanilla cookie recipe that everyone asks for, even though I make other more intricate and equally flavorful cookies. I guess we all miss our grandmothers's kitchens. I think it is the homey and warm feeling of the vanilla aroma. Do use good vanilla if possible. I love the Madagascar.
Makes 24 – 90 cookies depending on the cookie cutter size.
Preparation: 15 minutes to mix
½ hour in the refrigerator
Cutting out and baking approximately ½ hour
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cups granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
In a bowl, using an electric mixer beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the Vanilla Extract and mix well (Add lemon zest and Lemon Curd here if doing the Lemon Cookies).
Sift together the flour and baking powder, then add salt. Add to the butter mixture a little bit at a time at low speed, and beat well until well mixed.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Shape each into a ball. Flatten and wrap in parchment paper, and refrigerate for at least ½ hour. The dough can be prepared up to 3 days ahead, and kept in the refrigerator. Let it soften slightly at room temperature before continuing.
Preheat oven to 350F. You will need 2 – 4 nonstick cookie sheets, or line baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface - I use parchment paper without the extra flour - roll out one piece of dough. Cut out desired shapes. Transfer the cutouts to the prepared baking sheets. Continue until all the dough is finished.
Bake until the cookies are golden and slightly darker on the bottom about 8 minutes. Turn the tray halfway in the baking process. Remove the cookies and let cool for about 1 minute. Transfer the cookies to the wire rack and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
Variation: Lemon Cookies
Substitute 2 tsp Lemon extract for Vanilla Extract
Add the zest of 1 Lemon
Add 2 Tbsp Lemon Curd