Sweet Indulgence: Soft Vanilla Sugar Cookies


When I discovered the recipe for these cookies, they seemed simple enough to try on a busy night. I did, and they were the softest, most wonderfully vanilla-y and butter-y cookie I’d ever had. I loved them. So, the tender, sweet goodness that is these cookies has become a fixture in my cookie jar.

Speaking of which, it might be time to bake another batch.

That first time that I made these, they were dessert when one of my oldest and dearest girlfriends came for dinner. We ate … um … more than I care to admit. The second time I made them, they were even better than the first time — and mostly because Will helped.

Will loves to help me in the kitchen. He drags a kitchen chair over to the counter and listens intently as I explain what we are doing. “Mommy, you need my help?” he always asks. I love that and can’t help but indulge him. He’s the pourer of liquids into mixing bowls and the gentle stirrer of breadcrumb mixtures. He can lock and unlock the tilting head of my stand mixer, but knows to back up and keep his fingers away when the mixer is on. And he waits, as patiently as a three-year-old can, while I handle the less kid friendly tasks like breaking eggs.

“What’s next, Mommy?” is his constant question as we weave our way through measuring, mixing, pouring and arranging. And whenever I hear it, it makes me smile. A lot.

I am one lucky woman.

Yes, perhaps it is time to make another batch.

Vanilla Sugar Cookies
recipe from Fine Cooking

1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. table salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
2 large eggs

Make sure the oven rack is in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together flour, salt and baking power in a medium bowl. (A whisk is a good alternative to sifting.)

In a large bowl, beat the butter on medium until its smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla bean seeds. Beat until fully incorporated, about two minutes. Add the eggs and beat for about one more minute, until well combined. Add the flour mixture a little at a time. Don’t overblend — you want it just combined and it should only take a few seconds per addition.

Use a small ice cream scoop or a cookie scoop to place rounded tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets. Be sure to leave about three inches between the mounds.

Cook for 10-14 minutes until the edges are just beginning to brown.

These can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days. For a delicious treat, spread homemade raspberry jam between two cookies and sandwich together. Then, devour.


  1. says

    Yum! I’m going to try when I’m having company over so I won’t gorge myself. My husband is a person who will ask me to make oatmeal cookies and then he’ll eat one and come back the next day for another one. How he can restrict himself to one, warm cookie I don’t understand!

  2. Elise says

    Nathan (my 3 year old son) and I just made a batch and he currently has his noce to the fridge watching them “turn into tookies!”

    Thank you for the recipe!

  3. Vanessa says

    Definitely add a little more flour to this recipe! My first batch was extremely thin and not fluffy at all. I added about 1/2 c to 2/3 c more flour and they turned out perfect. Yummy!

  4. says

    Vanessa. Hmm. Mine didn’t come out too thin, and I have used this recipe at least a half dozen times. How are you scooping the dough? I use a 1 tbsp ice cream scoop. Adding more flour, I would worry that the cookies would become dry.

    Did anyone else have that problem?

    Rhi, we certainly came close!


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