These are truly the easiest (and best) sugar cookies I have made. I got this yummy recipe from Andrea the Kitchen Witch and decided that when I made them this time, I would not only use the vanilla extract, but I would use a fresh vanilla bean too... just to make them that much more vanilla-y (and yes that is a word in my book, thank you!).
If I had more time over the weekend, I would have made a wonderful vanilla bean frosting to top these, but alas, I did not get that far. If you wanted to make it, feel free, I would have made a cream cheese frosting using 1 vanilla bean, 4-6oz cream cheese, and powdered sugar (until you get the desired consistency and sweetness)... this frosting is not needed of course, it just would have made these delicious little cookies even better!
Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies
Adapted from Andrea the Kitchen Witch
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 egg yolks
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar (for rolling)
Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes on medium speed.
Scrape down the sides and add the vanilla and vanilla bean. Mix until incorporated. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well between each addition and scraping sides of bowl and paddle after each addition.
Mix the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt together in a bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, scraping down the sides after each addition.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Scoop balls of dough and roll into sugar, coating all sides. Place balls of dough on cookie sheet and bake for 11 minutes or until just set. You do not want these to brown, brown means they will not be soft and chewy in the middle. Let cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes and then move to wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!
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