4½ cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
1 pound cream cheese
2 sticks unsalted butter
½ vanilla bean, scraped
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioner’s sugar for rolling and dusting
Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese, butter, vanilla bean seeds, and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Incorporate the flour mixture. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Scoop roughly 1-ounce balls and toss in the confectioner’s sugar. Place on a baking sheet, lined with parchment, a couple of inches apart. Bake they spread and puff slightly, about 12-16 minutes. They will be really soft in the center. If they start to brown, they’ve gone too far. Cool to room temperature.
Refrigerate them on the tray because as the cream cheese and butter get cold, they’re easier to pick up. Dust with more confectioner’s sugar before serving. Mathew always serves these cookies straight out of the fridge. He thinks they don’t taste as good warm.
These will keep for up to a week in the fridge.
I halved the recipe and ended up with over 40 cookies, using a small cookie scoop (approximately 1½-inch diameter.)