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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Vanilla Butter Cookies

Can you believe it's already almost Valentine's Day?  I feel like the first month of the year went by in a blur!  Thankfully, I found time to share a great Valentine's Day idea with you!  Today, I'll be sharing an amazing vanilla butter cookie recipe.  I shaped these cookies into hearts to make them a perfect cookie for Valentine's Day, and for the Dollhouse Bake Shoppe Virtual Valentine's Party!

Lindsay Ann of Dollhouse Bake Shoppe organized this virtual party to collect recipes, crafts, and other Valentine's Day ideas from talented bloggers and share them with others.  I was happy to participate, because not only is it a great way to get involved with the blogging community, but I'm also a big fan of Lindsay Ann's business and blog.  I'm happy to be a part of this virtual party, so thank you, Lindsay Ann!

This cookie recipe was originally shared by Annie, from Annie's Eats, as pretzel cookies.  I first made them over the holidays, and included them in my annual cookie gift boxes.  These cookies got some of the best feedback and were a favorite of many of the recipients.  They have a light, crispy texture unlike any other cookie recipe I've made before, and the rich vanilla-y, buttery flavor is irresistible! I knew I had to find an excuse to make these again!  I decided to modify the shape of the cookies, and make them into hearts instead.  This makes a perfect little treat for Valentine's Day!

The recipe is pretty simple, with the only unusual ingredient being the yolk of a hard-boiled egg.  Once the dough is made, it's a pretty simple process to shape the cookies:

Just take small scoops of dough and roll into a log shape.  Then you can roll up the ends until they're almost about to meet in the center.

Pinch the bottom of the shape like so...

...until you make a point.

Then use a spatula to carefully transfer your hearts to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Brush the cookies with an egg-white wash, sprinkle with sugar, and they're ready to bake!

When they're done baking, they'll be a beautiful golden-brown color with a nice, glossy appearance from the egg-whites.  Don't they look amazing!?

I won't judge you if you eat them all yourself.  I may or may not have done that...

...but, if you have the willpower to resist, then these cookies would make cute little gifts for Valentine's Day!

Toss a few in a treat bag and tie with a pretty red ribbon, and it will be a perfect surprise for that special someone!

Or, pile them on a platter and share them with your co-workers, friends, or whoever else might appreciate these cookies.  Just don't expect them to last for long!

Vanilla Butter Cookies
Print this recipe

Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats
Yield:  about 40 cookies

1 large egg
10 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 large egg white, lightly beaten with 1 tsp water
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Place the egg in a small saucepan and cover with 1-inch of water.  Bring to a boil.  Once boiling, remove from the heat and cover.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, fill a small bowl with ice water.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the egg to the ice water and let stand 5 minutes.  Crack the egg and peel away the shell.  Separate the yolk from the white; discard the white.  Press the yolk through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar, salt and cooked egg yolk.  Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.  Turn the mixer to low, add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.  Add the flour and mix on low speed just until combined, about 30 seconds.  Use a spatula to press the dough into a cohesive mass.

Divide the dough in half and roll each piece into a log about 6 inches long and 1 3/4 inches in diameter.  Wrap each log in a piece of parchment or wax paper.  Twist the ends to seal and firmly compact the dough into a tight cylinder.  Chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.

To bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Using a chef's knife, slice the dough into 1/4-inch thick rounds.  Form each round into a ball.  Roll into a long rope with tapered ends.  Carefully roll each end of the rope until almost meeting in the middle.  Pinch the remaining middle section of dough into a point, creating a heart shape.  Using a spatula, transfer each shape to the prepared baking sheets, placing 1-inch apart.  Brush lightly with the egg white mixture and sprinkle evenly with turbinado sugar.

Bake until the centers of the cookies are pale golden and the edges are slightly darker, about 15 minute, rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking.  Cool on the baking sheets about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


  1. So glad I found you over at the Dollhouse party, these cookies look fabulous and I've added them to my "must make" list, yum! Also Pinned.

  2. These are gorgeous! What a great idea. I'm pinning them so I can make them next year.