Sunday, June 24, 2012

Vanilla Cookies

Humor me for a minute.

Flavors are weird. In ice cream land, there's three categories of flavors; chocolate, vanilla, and other. Chocolate's awesome, and "other" is cool and all, but with the exception of middle-aged men, nobody loves vanilla. It's considered a base for other flavors, both in ice cream land, and baking land. It's the modern equivalent of "plain" flavored.

But here's a secret - vanilla IS a flavor. I mean, it's a plant, and it's tasty. It's not plain, it's not flavorless. Look in the yogurt isle, there's tubs of vanilla yogurt, and tubs of plain yogurt. They're not the same. Vanilla is not the lack of flavor, it's just very mild.

So in other words, these cookies don't suck. They're not "plain," and they're not sugar cookies. They're vanilla cookies, deal with it.

Ok, I really just wanted to use my new toys. My sister and I went to Iowa, (It was awesome. Remind me to tell you guys all about it later. Oh wait, nothing happened, it was Iowa.) and I got some baking toys at the gift shop of a living history farm. Why the gift shop doo-dads were so cheap, I have no idea, but I got a new pastry blender, a set of biscuit cutters, and a french rolling pin, all for half of what they would have cost at Michael's. This project used all three. Sweet.

These cookies are good and all, but they're simple on their own. They do make a great simple base for all sorts of tasty ideas. I'll show you mine later, but theses are good for either frosting, sprinkling with a little raw sugar right before you bake, or topping with a little jam for a brunch treat.

Or just eat them, that works too!

Vanilla Cookies
from Greatest Ever Baking

2/3 cup butter (one stick plus 2 2/3 tbs)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Combine butter and flour in a large mixing bowl, rubbing with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Stir in sugar and vanilla, and form into a stiff dough.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter. arrange on a cookie sheet, and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until light golden. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Dust with extra sugar before serving, if desired.

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