Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies
Adapted from Laurie Mather’s World’s Best Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter – softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon LorAnn’s Princess Emulsion
2 Tbsp Vanilla Bean Paste
2 Tbsp Heavy Cream – room temperature
1 Large Egg – room temperature
3 cups unbleached AP flour
1/2 tsp baking powder (up to 1 tsp - depending on rise desired)
In the bowl of a stand mixer, with flat beater attached, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.
Add egg, flavorings, and cream…mix until incorporated.
Add in baking powder and one cup of flour. Mix well until combined.
Add in 2nd cup of flour and mix until combined.
Add in last cup of flour. Thoroughly mix and scrape the bottom of the bowl.
Divide dough in half and pat into disc shape. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
Place both halves in gallon zipper bag and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll and cut dough. (I like to roll between parchment sheets and use two 3/8” trim boards from the hardware store as a rolling guide). Dip your cutter into flour to ensure no sticking.
Carefully transfer shapes onto baking mat or parchment covered baking sheets (use a floured offset spatula to assist if needed) and place baking sheet, with cut cookies on it, in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. Dust flour from hardened cookies before baking, using a pastry brush not used for anything else!
Place in middle of preheated 350 degree oven and bake from 9 to 14 minutes depending on size of cookies…rotate halfway through baking.
The foot of the cookie should just be lightly browned and the top should not really have any color.Remove baking sheet from oven and place on cooling rack. Gently smooth tops of cookie (while hot) with a fondant smoother if you have any bubbles or high spots. After 10-15 minutes, loosen cookies with spatula and remove to cooling rack to completely cool before decorating. I like to decorate the day after baking to ensure a thoroughly "set" cookie.