About MissCakeBaker

I spend the week running in heels and the weekends in my apron.

Sunday 20 January 2013

Vanilla Heirloom Sugar Cookies

I was sent a copy of Pure Vanilla by Shauna Sever to review. I love vanilla - vanilla ice-cream, a candle I have which contains bourbon vanilla, the smell on opening a jar of vanilla sugar..... - so I was pleased to have the chance to try out a recipe from a book dedicated to the black pod. 

The book covers everything from breakfasts to drinks with the expected cakes and cookies in between. It is an American book so the measures are in cups, although I find this a lot easier than having to get the scales out. Some of the breakfast recipes were a little too on the sweet side for me so I went for these cookies, which are an old family recipe of the author's grandma. They are the type of slightly plain but very moreish biscuits it's nice to have in a tin for lazy days like today.

Heirloom Vanilla Sugar Cookies

2.5 cups plain flour
1/2 tspn bicarb of soda
1/2 ten cream of tartar
1/4 tpsn salt
1/2  cup veg oil
1 large egg, at room temp
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tpsns vanilla extract
1/4 cup vanilla sugar

Preheat oven 180c F. Line 2 baking sheets with paper.

Large bowl - whisk flour, bicarb, cream of tartar and salt. Med bowl whisk oils and eggs.

In mixer, cream butter sugar, icing sugar and vanilla extract until fluffy and pale.  Reduce sped to low and grad beat in oil-egg mix till smooth. Slowly add dry ings until smooth. Makes a soft dough.

Roll dough into balls - about 2 tbspns each - and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Pour vanilla sugar onto a plate. dip a flat bottom drinking glass into vanilla sugar to coat and press into each ball to flatten to about 1/4 inch thick.

Bake 10-12 mins, rotating sheets from top to bottom and front to back about halfway through, until pale golden and just beginning to turn golden brown at the edges. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 2 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before storing or serving.


  1. They look lovely! Vanilla is one of my favourite spices.

  2. Its nice to have the kind of recipe that you have all the bits for, for days like today when you don't want to venture outside! Do you think you will make anything else from the book?

  3. Yes definitely Stephanie. There are a couple of cakes I've got my eye on!

  4. Vanilla doesn't seem to have the best press - it's seen as dull far too often. I think it's one of my favourite flavours and I never tire of it. A cookie that's plain but very moreish sounds ideal to me.

  5. I'm glad vanilla seems to be having a bit of a revival, it's definitely underrated. Your biscuits look lovely.

  6. Love this book. I'll have to try these cookies - they look great!