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Megans Cookin: Vanilla Bean Thins

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Vanilla Bean Thins

You know when you first meet someone, and your getting to know them, they talk about their family and their home. Then after awhile, you get a mental picture of what their house looks like.
One day, you go over for a visit and the house is nothing like the home you envisioned. Well, that happened to me with a cookie.

I came across a new event called Cookie Carnival. They were making these Vanilla Bean Thins that intrigued me. So I'm along for the ride! I e-mailed Kate from The Clean Plate Club and she sent me the recipe. I was pretty excited for this recipe, but, then I discovered it was a rolled sugar cookie. My excitement went out the window. It wasn't what was in my head. I envisioned some crisp, vanilla bean wonder. Don't get me wrong, the cookie I got was o.k. But it was a vanilla sugar cookie. It wasn't the envisioned special cookie.
These cookies are made with a vanilla sugar. You scrape the vanilla bean pod and mix all those little black specks into your powdered sugar. Bury the empty bean pods back in the sugar and let it sit for at least 24 hours or longer. The dough comes together pretty quickly in a food processor.
But, since I don't have one, mine was done in the bowl of a stand-up mixer. After I added the egg yolk, I got to get my hands in the batter. But it wasn't difficult by any means.
After my dough chilled, I rolled it out. Instead of using cookie cutters and going through all that, I just cut them into diamond shapes with a knife. No re rolling scraps or anything. Roll, cut, and bake. It went pretty smooth that way.

So here is my first cookie for the cookie carnival. I cant wait to see what is in store for next month.

Vanilla Bean Thins

Gourmet Magazine
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

1 fresh (moist) vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg yolk

Special equipment:
a 2-inch cookie cutter (I cut mine into strips, then into diamonds, with a knife)

Make vanilla sugar:
Scrape vanilla seeds from pod with tip of a knife into confectioners sugar. Halve pods crosswise and bury in sugar. Cover tightly and let stand at least 24 hours and up to 1 month.

Make cookies:
Discard pods and transfer vanilla sugar to a food processor. Add flour, salt, and baking powder and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse just until mixture is in pea-size lumps. Add yolk and pulse just until a dough forms. Gather dough into 2 balls, then flatten into 2 (5-inch) disks and chill, each disk wrapped well in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Roll out 1 disk (keep the other chilled) to less than 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Cut out shapes with floured cookie cutter and chill scraps. Arrange cookies 1/2 inch apart on a buttered large baking sheet. Make more cookies with remaining dough, rerolling scraps (but only once).

Bake cookies in batches in middle of oven until edges are pale golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Cooks' notes:
• Dough can be chilled up to 2 days.
• Cookies keep, layered between sheets of wax paper, in an airtight container at room temperature 1 week.



Blogger glamah16 said...

What a cool event. I will take some of these with a nice cup of tea.

April 19, 2008 at 11:36 PM  
Blogger Aunt LoLo said...

Vanilla Bean Thins...sounds like Mint Thins...sounds like not a dry little ol' sugar cookie! Sounds like something...dipped in something else...

You know, Ina Garten has a canister of sugar where she sticks all her used vanilla bean pods (after she's scraped the seeds out.) She's had the same canister going for at least 20 years...and uses it in all her baking. Yummy!

April 20, 2008 at 8:44 AM  
Blogger Carla said...

You always find the fun events! Any suggestions on where to find vanilla beans in the grocery store?

April 20, 2008 at 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vanilla bean, one of my favorites if not arguably the favorite. These sound great. If only the bean wasn't so expensive!

April 20, 2008 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger Aimee Friedrich said...

awesome blog! these look so good.

April 21, 2008 at 5:57 AM  
Blogger Steph said...

Yum. These sound delicious! I've always wanted to try using vanilla beans, just haven't gotten around to it yet!

April 22, 2008 at 7:09 AM  
Blogger Gigi said...

What a great event! And I really liked the diamond shaped pattern to your cookies.

April 22, 2008 at 6:25 PM  
Blogger SiHaN said...

i never thought of using a knife. gawd.. tt cld have spared me all the trouble of rolling out and cutting the dough shapes. *d-oh!*.. urs look fantastic anyway!

April 29, 2008 at 5:39 AM  
Blogger Mevrouw Cupcake said...

I know what you mean, I thought that they sounded like something else entirely, but I wasn't disappointed by the taste. Love your hand-cut cookie shapes, they look very stylish!

April 29, 2008 at 6:19 AM  

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