This is a very simple cookie recipe especially if you own a stand mixer. You could use cold ingredients taken right out of the fridge. If you don’t have a stand mixer, the dough could be prepared easily by cutting the fats (the cold butter cubes) into the flour mixture with a knife or simply your fingertips. I like to roll them on the thicker side by using a pair of chopsticks as my guide. These cookies are tender, crumbly and buttery. If you look closely at the cookies you could even see the specks of vanilla bean. This recipe doesn’t depend on the traditional creaming method. The way I use here involves coating the flour with fats, which results in a more tender texture.
For other variations, please visit my blog posts, Espresso Cutout Cookies and Earl Grey Cookies. Also, read about my blog post, Piped Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies for a detailed explanation about the choice of ingredients.
Vanilla Bean Cutout Cookies
160 g cake and pastry flour
60 g icing sugar
A pinch of salt
115 g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 (about 17 g) egg yolk, large
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, icing sugar and salt. Stir well. Add cold butter cubes and mix on the lowest speed until mixture resembles breadcrumbs or wet sand. If you don’t own a stand mixer, rub cold butter cubes into the flour mixture with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add egg yolk and vanilla bean paste. Mix on lowest speed until several large clumps have formed. Gently press clumps together to form a dough.
Roll dough in between pieces of parchment paper or silicone mats for even better results to 1/4″ thickness (I use chopsticks as my guide for thickness) then remove the top paper. Lightly brush the cookie molds with flour and cut out as many shapes as possible. Collect dough scraps, reroll and cut out the shapes one more time. Freeze shapes for at least 10 minutes before baking.
Preheat oven to 325ºF/160ºC. Arrange shapes on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the cookies start to get golden around the edges (adjust baking time according to your own oven). Let cookies sit a few minutes on the sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Before baking. Baking the cookies from frozen results in a more defined pattern.
Look closely to see the flecks of vanilla bean.
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