Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!

How was your Valentine’s day? Mine was insane and full of cupcakes, cookies, and beautiful flower arrangements. Sounds ideal right? Well it actually started by going to work -I work at a cupcake shop- an hour early to prepare for the onslaught of cupcake craving customers. I spent most of my work day icing over 6 thousand cupcakes; I don’t actually know how many cupcakes I iced but I know it was a lot. I knew my Valentine’s day was going to be super busy so I prepared vanilla bean almond sugar cookies for all of my co-workers and friends a head of time.  I love this recipe because it is fairly simple to make and it freezes well. The cookies turned out super cute and were a big hit so here is the recipe.

Vanilla Bean Almond Sugar cookies

makes about 30 cookies depending on the size

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks cold butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 vanilla bean seeded

Directions

  1. Cream together the sugar and cold butter. (Finally a recipe in which you are actually told to use cold butter!)
  2. Add the egg, extracts, and vanilla bean seeds*.
  3. Add the flour and baking powder. Mix until just combined.  Scrape the bowl.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. If the dough is crumbly, knead it together.
  5. Roll the dough out to a little under a 1/4 inch and cut out into shapes*. Put the shapes on a parchment lined baking sheet and put in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Bake the cookies in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly golden brown. Cool completely before icing.

Tips and tricks

  1. To remove the seeds from a vanilla bean take the tip of a knife slice down the length of the bean. Don’t cut the way through it, just enough to expose the beans. Take the back of the knife and scrape out the beans.
  2. It helps to roll out the dough on parchment paper. And then if you put the dough in the freezer before you cut out the shapes they will hold their form better and will be easier to pick up. Oh and if you dip your cookie cutters in flour, the dough wont be as likely to stick to the cookie cutter.

All of the ingredients, except for the egg… oops

Cream together the sugar and cold butter.

how to remove the seeds from a vanilla bean

Add the egg, extracts, and vanilla bean seeds*.

Add the flour and baking powder. Mix until just combined.  Scrape the bowl.

Roll the dough out to a little under a 1/4 inch and cut out into shapes*. Put the shapes on a parchment lined baking sheet and put in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes.

Bake the cookies in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly golden brown. Cool completely before icing.

Here they are iced. I just made a basic royal icing

Royal icing

1 egg white (should be pasteurized)

1 cup sifted powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

food coloring

Directions

1. Mix together all ingredients until completely combined

2. Add in powdered sugar to thicken, or water to thin out the royal icing

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