Sometimes we think that there is nothing better than something flavored purely vanilla. If you are having a vanilla craving, these are a good answer because they have spectacular vanilla flavor. Vanilla comes in two forms here: a vanilla bean and two tablespoons of vanilla extract.
We actually improvised quite a bit from the original recipe, since we only had one vanilla bean in our pantry and no vanilla sugar (made by placing a vanilla bean in sugar to “steep” for a couple of days). We suspect that the original recipe is just as delicious, but our cookies turned out beautifully and tasted fantastic, so we will probably continue to make them our way. These cookies are crunchy from the Turbinado sugar on the edges, which is possibly the best part. This recipe makes the ideal cookie to leave out for Santa or just to sit eating while reading a book on a chilly day!
Vanilla Sable Cookies
Recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats
Makes about 3 Dozen Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
Turbinado sugar, for coating
1 egg white mixed with 1 tbsp. water
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, seeds scraped from the vanilla bean pod, and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the egg yolks and vanilla extract. Blend in the flour and salt on low speed until incorporated (dough should be thick).
Gather the dough together and transfer to a piece of parchment paper. Form into a log about 1¾-inches in diameter. Roll the dough tightly up in the parchment paper, and twist the ends to seal. Transfer the dough to the freezer and chill until very firm, at least 2 hours (we baked a few skipping this step, and they were fine, albeit a little harder to work with!).
When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. On a piece of wax paper, pour a line of turbinado sugar for coating the dough log. Remove the dough from the freezer, brush lightly with the egg wash, and roll in the turbinado sugar, pressing gently to adhere. Transfer the dough to a cutting board and slice into rounds just less than ½-inch thick. Place the dough rounds on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake cookies until the edges are light golden and the centers are just set, about 15 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets briefly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!