The Mother of All Vanilla Cookies

In my search for the perfect non-spreading vanilla cookie dough I took a half dozen popular recipes for a trial run and while most were okay to fine, none made my heart pitter-patter until  Lilaloa’s Vanilla Variation Cookie Recipe.  I’ve never had a negative experience with this recipe, at least not that didn’t involve user-error. Whether I follow the recipe or get all crazy and toss in whatever yummies are within reach it forgives all my transgressions with minimal to no spread, clean edges, even bake, and out of the hundreds of batches that have gone through my oven and out the door there’s never been so much a hint of a disparaging  word from anyone about the taste. The texture is tender and while the cookie can harden after a week or two the favor remains consistent. You can roll, cut and bake the dough right out of the mixing bowl. You can roll it and keep it stored in the freezer for a few weeks. You can divide it into a several balls and refrigerator it for a couple days. I’ve tried it every way and every way, it’s perfectly perfect.

I’ve made a few tweaks to the original recipe but follow the link above to see the original Vanilla Variation, Version 1.01.

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Baking Sweet Hope Vanilla Cookies
The perfect vanilla sugar cookie dough for all your cookie needs. Yes. I said that.
  1. Preheat oven to 365 F. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Beat the butter and sugars together in another bowl. To avoid incorporating air into the dough which increases cookie spread, beat the butter and sugars just until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
  3. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Add in half the flour mixture and mix just until the flour settles and then add in the remaining flour mixture, beating no longer than it takes to fully incorporate the ingredients.
  4. On a lightly floured surface roll the dough to your desired thickness and then cut your cookie shapes, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, and slip the sheet onto the middle rack of heated oven. The baking time will vary between 8-15 minutes depending on the thickness and size of the cookies.
Recipe Notes
  • When making vanilla cookies without additional flavorings the vanilla bean paste adds another dimension of vanilla along with adding a nice speckled appearance to the dough.
  • Create an additional flavor component by adding a teaspoon of almond extract or lemon extract. The flavor will be just enough that it adds to the overall flavor without standing out on its own.
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