Monday, June 2, 2014

Vanilla Bean Tea Cakes

This week I baked two cakes and four dozen cupcakes. There's a lot of birthday/bakesale/piano recital going on around here.

Here's one I made for my daughter's birthday. Cute, huh?

But sometimes even I need to take a break from cake. So, I figured I'd try these cookies from the Cookies and Cups blog. Love them! Easy enough for a kid to make himself, and not overpoweringly sweet.

I tweaked the recipe a bit for my own palette. Also, I cannot be bothered to scrape a vanilla bean (or pay for it) when I'm only making cookies to feed the kids after school. Vanilla Bean Paste is a slurry of seeds and extract available in many grocery stores, and it's perfect for such a simple cookie.

Vanilla Bean Tea Cookies
2 sticks butter, softened (230g)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (180g)
1 t vanilla bean paste (or just use 1 teaspoon of extract)
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder (10g)
3 cups cake flour (360g)

3-5 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoons vanilla paste (or 1 teaspoon extract)
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (300g)

In an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and powdered sugar for two minutes, then beat in eggs, vanilla and salt. On low speed, incorporate flour and baking powder. Scoop out tablespoon-sized balls onto a wax paper tray, then refrigerate for half an hour. Roll the balls smooth in your palms, then chill for another two hours. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 350 (325 convection) for 12-14 minutes, until one or two just starts to brown on the edges. Rest the baking sheet on the counter for five minutes, then move to rack to cool completely.

Put the rack of cooled cookies back onto the baking sheet to catch the drips. Whisk together 3 tablespoons of milk, vanilla paste, and powdered sugar. Add just enough additional milk to reach the texture of cold honey. Use a spoon to drizzle tablespoons of glaze over each cookie.

If you have time, put the cookies in the fridge for a couple of hours to harden the glaze.

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