Monday, January 12, 2015

Vanilla Bean Cutout Cookies (Updated Recipe)

My very first post here was my favorite recipe for Citrus Vanilla Cutouts. It was January 10th, way back in 2011, we had just moved back to Seattle from CO and I was happy to be a home and getting ready for my best friends wedding.
This recipe is still my favorite, but I have tweaked it over the years and rarely add the orange extract or orange emulsion.

I have baked more cookies these past two months than in the past year! Which I guess isn't surprising since I haven't been baking much at all with little boy here. He keeps me plenty busy and happy!

But I have been asked over and over again about my recipe this month and I am getting tired of sending people to the old post and then emailing or messaging them to add all the updates. It just isn't working for me anymore, so here is the new and improved recipe.

Vanilla Bean Cutouts


  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter, cold, cut into pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (I use this)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In your mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until fully incorporated and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the egg, vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste. Beat until fully incorporated and use a rubber spatula to scrape side and bottom of bowl if necessary.
  4. With the mixer off, add flour, baking powder and salt. Turn mixer on low to prevent the "flour cloud" and mix until all dry ingredients are incorporated. 
  5. Mix just until a soft dough forms and pulls away from the bowl. 
  6. Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, cut out your choice of shapes and place onto your cookie sheets. 
  7. Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Cookies will be lightly golden on the bottom to very slightly brown on the edges. Remove from sheet and cool on rack.

Cutout cookies are delicious when eaten plain but traditionally they are decorated with some type of frosting, my favorite is royal icing.

This cookie dough should be like a soft play dough. When touched, it should not stick to your hands, or the rolling pin.  To get the right consistency, I use 3 cups of flour in the winter and 3 1/2 in the summer, your flour amount may be different based on temperature, humidity and altitude. 
I usually roll my cookie dough out on waxed paper sheets for easy cleanup and so I can pop any extra dough into the freezer to be used later. I also like to keep each tray of cut out cookies in the freezer for at least 5 minutes before placing in the oven, they hold their shape much better this way.
If you line your baking trays with paper, always use parchment paper, never waxed paper. The wax will burn off or melt onto your cookies and leave a funky taste behind.

Flour De Lis
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