Today Karen over at the Sugarpill apothecary was giving out samples of a "mystery" vanilla extract. She wanted a neutral taste test, so she withheld the details about this extract until after we had a chance to try it out. The only info we got was that it is a high-end (read:expensive) extract with beans sourced from somewhere unusual. Fascinating.
I decided to test out the extract on a basic butter cookie recipe from King Arthur Flour's website. As you may know, I love their site and use their recipes a lot. The version on their site also has an icing recipe which I skipped this time around. They also provide the ingredients list in ounces or grams (instead of by volume) if you prefer that method (I do).
Here's the recipe:
- 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
|Butter and sugar - how so many good things start|
- In a large bowl combine sugar, butter, egg yolk, salt and extract. Beat together until smooth.
- Add the flour and beat together until it forms a cohesive and well blended cookie dough. Scrape down the sides as necessary. It will seem dry at first and then suddenly come together at the end.
- Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until it firms up a bit (about half an hour at the minimum, up to 24 hours).
- Once the dough is chilled, roll it out to about 1/8" - 3/16" thick and cut it into whatever shape you want or use cookie cutters. Re-roll and cut the scraps too.
- Bake the cookies on an ungreased or parchment lined baking sheet at 350F for 10-20 minutes until the edges begin to brown but the cookie is still pale. The dough won't spread very much so you can fit quite a few on one sheet.