shooting stars

Cookie Carnival: Vanilla Bean Thins
so i admit to never using vanilla beans before. A faithful user of the vanilla extracts. I never once picked up one of those unsung heros along the aisles of the bakery shop.

not up till now at least...
with yet another baking event up my belt. its no wonder its getting a little tight.. *gulp* around the waist especially. giggles. But still, the pleasure derieved from churning out goodies all the time, just sets me in high spirits. A feeling that i can never and will never deprieve myself of.

This event names aptly the 'cookie carnival' is set up by our lovely Kate. Every month, we bake up a batch of lovely cookies according to the recipe as chosen by her and posted to us, the loyal subjects. hehe. This month, we were trusted with the recipe for vanilla bean thins.

the recipe as easy as it seems called for the use of vanilla bean pods to be casted into the sea of confectioners sugar to yield a fragrant and black speckled vanilla sugar. i was excited yet scared at the same time. put an expensive bean in my rough hands to scrape out the seeds? now tts gonna be an a-grade task on the 'impossible' list. in the end.. success! and after a few days, the container was filled with the frangrant fusion of sugar sweetness and true vanilla...
damm the weather.. even the nights were to hot and humid to handle. the cookie dough softened almost immediately upon removal from the freezer.. and mind you. FREEZER.. darn the weather again..

and as you can see, these cookies weren't exactly thin.. stupid weather made it almost impossible to roll and cut the cookies whilst still remaining intact. but even so, the cookies emerged from the oven with incredible gusto and a whole load of flavor. it's melt in the mouth texture was incredible.. i reckon its the use of confectioners sugar.. well, definitely a keeper in my books!

Thanks Kate for the wonderful choice!

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 (we used a fluted diamond-shaped one)

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.


Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Your cookies look beautiful, well done! Oh, and I LOVE the paper you used for your background too!

Megan said...

Your cookies look wonderful.
I could go for one right now. :)