When I found out my friend, Shauna of Piece of Cake was releasing yet another amazing cookbook, I was so happy for her! Then I found out it was all about one of my favourite things ever and I was thrilled. Then I found out I could get myself a review copy plus a giveaway copy for you and my head exploded.
Pure Vanilla is aptly named. The rustic photos, heartfelt descriptions and homey recipes all lend to the organic, unrefined and untouched beauty that is the vanilla bean. Vanilla has become synonymous with words like safe, predictable and ordinary. Shauna shows us how to look at vanilla in a different light, a soft natural light. Vanilla is unassuming, but not bland. Vanilla is familiar, but not boring. Vanilla is nostalgic, but not antiquated. Vanilla is sexy, beautiful and adventurous.
Pure Vanilla’s recipe index ranges from the tried and true to the exciting and new. Name your favourite vanilla recipe and this book has it! Everything from luscious Vanilla Buttercream to Vanilla Cream Pie, Vanilla Bean Marshmallows to Vanilla Ice Cream. Then there’s a few recipes I bet you’ve never tried like Twinkie Bundt Cake, Candied Vanilla Popcorn and Vanilla Martinis.
When I saw Shauna’s recipe for Heirloom Vanilla Sugar Cookies, I knew it was the perfect recipe to share with you at this festive time of year. These cookies were bursting with vanilla flavour and were melt-in-your-mouth soft. They’re cookies best served on a plate to Santa or to loved ones accompanied with a tall glass of milk.
So you want to win a copy of Pure Vanilla? Of course you do!
Just use the simple Rafflecopter widget below for several different ways to enter! The terms and conditions are listed at the bottom. Just leave a comment below letting me know what your favourite vanilla treat is. This mandatory entry opens up three more enxta entries so make sure to make good use of them! The giveaway is open until Friday December 22nd at midnight.
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Heirloom Vanilla Sugar Cookies
Makes 3 dozen cookies.
Source: Adapted from Pure Vanilla by Shauna Sever.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 vanilla beans
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, room temperature
2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup vanilla sugar
Note: Instead of using a flat-bottomed glass to press your cookies, try using a vase or glass with a patterned-bottom. This gives the cookies a unique look!
Preheat the over to 350 degrees and position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
Split the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with the edge of your knife. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugars and vanilla seeds until it’s pale in colour.
In a small bowl whisk together the oil and egg then slowly add it to the butter mixture until it’s smooth.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt then gradually add it to the butter mixture until you have a soft evenly incorporated dough.
Scoop about 1 – 2 tbsp of dough for each cookie and roll into a ball, placing twelve balls on each cookie sheet. Spread your vanilla sugar out in a shallow dish and, with the bottom of a damp glass pressed in the vanilla sugar, press each cookie into a 1/4 inch thick disc. Dip your glass in the vanilla sugar before flattening each cookie to ensure maximum sugar deliciousness. Bake them for about 10 – 12 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, until they’re slightly golden brown on the edges. Transfer them to a cooling rack and enjoy!