Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies

Instead of using vanilla extract in this recipe, I replaced it with a whole vanilla bean, resulting in the best sugar cookie I have ever had. The little flecks of vanilla make this crisp, delicate, “crumble in your mouth” cookie absolutely stunning and refined.

Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4 dozen
  • 1 vanilla bean, slit down the middle lengthwise and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 1 cup (1/2 pound/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Place the vanilla bean and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until the mixture turns a very pale brown and the vanilla bean is almost completely incorporated into the sugar, 3- 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle, add the butter and mix until smooth and creamy.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and egg yolk, one at a time, mixing well between additions.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until everything is well incorporated.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and form the dough into two balls.
  6. Place each ball into the center of a large Ziploc bag.
  7. Place each bag on the counter and, using a rolling pin, roll the dough from the center toward the edges until it is between ⅛ and ¼” thick.
  8. Refrigerate at least one hour and up to two weeks. Alternatively, you can form the dough into a 1” log.
  9. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove one sheet of dough from the refrigerator at a time.
  10. Using any shape cookie cutter, punch out cookies and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Transfer the cookie sheet to the oven and bake until the cookies are just starting to turn golden brown on the edges, about 8- 10 minutes.
  11. Cool on the cookie sheet and transfer to a wire cooling rack.
  12. Repeat with remaining dough.
  13. Transfer to a tin and store for up to one week.