My vanilla cookies are not your average sugar cookies. They are speckled with vanilla beans throughout and the flavor truly shines. They are pillowy and tender with a texture similar to snickerdoodles. In fact, I like to call them vanilladoodles!
These cookies are incredibly simple to make and are wonderful to serve and eat any time of the year.
To give these cookies their intense vanilla taste, I use vanilla bean paste – a syrup made using vanilla bean pod seeds and vanilla extract. Vanilla bean paste can be hard to find in stores, so I suggest buying it online. An alternative to using it is to substitute 1:1 with vanilla extract and add the seeds from one vanilla bean pod.
Cream of tartar makes the cookies extra tender and also enhances their flavor with a little bit of tang.
Before they go in the oven, I roll the dough balls in vanilla sugar. I keep vanilla sugar in my pantry all of the time (it’s easy to make by just storing some vanilla beans in with your sugar). However, if you don’t have vanilla sugar, it’s totally fine to use regular granulated sugar. The cookies will still have plenty of vanilla flavor.
How It’s Made
These cookies come together so easily.
First, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar.
Then, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredient mixture a little bit at a time to the wet ingredients, mixing until just incorporated.
Next, mix in an egg and the vanilla bean paste.
Roll out cookie dough balls with about 1.5 tablespoons of dough per ball.
Then, roll each cookie dough ball in vanilla sugar (or regular granulated sugar).
Bake at 375 F for about 10 minutes.
When the cookies come out of the oven, they will be very poofy. While they are still warm, use the back of a spoon to make an indentation in the center of each cookie. This is for looks, but it also affects the texture of the cooled cookies.
Expert Tips and FAQs
Yes! It works perfectly when doubled.
Yes! You can make the dough balls and freeze them for months. Bring them to room temperature before rolling in sugar and baking.
They last for five days at room temperature. You can also freeze them for months!
- Vanilla buttercream frosting
- All about vanilla bean paste
- Vanilla panna cotta
- Best vanilla cupcakes
- Ultimate vanilla cake
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 5 teaspoons vanilla bean paste [paid link]
- 1/4 cup vanilla sugar or additional granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl (or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffly.
- Mix in egg and vanilla bean paste until full combined.
- Mix in dry ingredients a little bit at a time until just combined into a thick dough.
- Using your hands, roll balls of dough about 1.5 tablespoons each.
- Roll the dough balls in vanilla sugar and place on a parchment-topped cookie sheet, leaving about 1.5" between each dough ball.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until the cookies have poofed up – they will still be very soft.
- While they are still warm, press down the center of each cookie with the back of a spoon.
- Cool on a cooling rack.
Join my mailing list - and receive a free eBook!