I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I’ve never made sugar cookies before. I’ve made snickerdoodles, which technically speaking are sugar cookies, but I’ve never made plain and simple sugar cookies. I’ve always favored chocolate chip cookies, so the plain sugar variety never really appealed to me. I mean, I’m not one to turn down any kind of cookie, but if I make what I prefer, there’s always some sort of chocolate or chunks involved!
This month for the Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned a blog FULL of sweet things – Hugs and Cookies XOXO, written by Danielle. If you know my blog at all, you already know I adore sweets, so it was basically a match made in heaven. The only difference is that Danielle takes her sweets to a whole new level. Her creations look absolutely sinful, layering so many different kinds of cookies and brownies and candies and sweets together that it’s totally outrageous. So it’s ironic that from all of that super sweet and involved recipes, I chose something as simple as these cookies. Given that it was a busy month for me, it seemed fitting, and quite frankly I’m so glad I made them – they are so simple and so delicious!
I received a large container of vanilla bean sugar a few months ago from a friend, and until making these cookies had yet to use it. When I decided to make this recipe, I added a bit of vanilla extract to the batter, then gave generous balls of dough a good roll around in the vanilla bean sugar. Ultimately I don’t think it changed the flavor a whole heck of a lot, but I love the hint of vanilla and little vanilla bean specks on the crispy edges of these cookies. Were I to make them again, I’d probably scrape seeds from a vanilla bean and incorporate those into the dough too.
These cookies are characteristic sugar cookies at their finest – crispy and crunchy around the edges, with a nice chewyness in the center. While Danielle made her recipe sans vanilla, and coated her dough with sanding sugar and an egg wash, I really like rolling the dough in the vanilla sugar, and the nice crispy exterior that it lent. While I still think I’d pick a chocolate chip cookie over a sugar cookie most days, these are darn delicious and certainly worthy of being added to the favorite cookie rotation!
Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies
adapted from Hugs and Cookies XOXO
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup extra for rolling
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, (2 sticks), softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.