Is there anything better than a basic French butter cookie? Yes. That is to say if you add a good dose of vanilla. These Double Vanilla Sables are those cookies. I call them “double vanilla” because the dough and the sanding sugar both have vanilla in them.
The cookies have a rich, buttery flavor and a crispy, sandy texture. The dough is formed into a log and sprinkled with sugar for a sparkly, crunchy edge. And in this case, a very fragrant, flavorful vanilla sugar. The cookie recipe I used comes from one of my favorite, favorite cookbooks, Baking:From My Home To Yours. It’s been awhile since I cracked it open to make something for my family. Now that it’s December, I’m going to be doing even more baking, and these were first on my list!
My friend, Stephanie, also know as Queen Scarlett, recently introduced me to Heilala (pronounced “Hey-la-la”vanilla. Heilala is the name of the national flower of Tonga where the bourbon vanilla beans are grown. I’m always looking for really great products to use in my baking and cooking. I enjoyed learning about the family-owned and operated Heilala. The company is located in New Zealand and run by a family of former dairy farmers. I’m fascinated by just how long it takes for vanilla beans to go from orchid to dried pod – about one year! Amazing.
Heilala sent me some of their vanilla products to use in my holiday baking. I honestly cannot keep enough vanilla in the house. I use vanilla every single day for something. Over the last few weeks I’ve been using Heilala vanilla for my Thanksgiving desserts, as well as in homemade ice creams and whipped cream. Oh, I love vanilla! I even used the Heilala vanilla bean paste to flavor a yummy vinaigrette. The vanilla bean paste is fantastic. Just so, so good. And the vanilla syrup…I might be sipping it by the spoonful. Ha!
The sables recipe is good on its own, but does not call for any vanilla at all. I really did want to give it some big vanilla flavor. Using the concentrated vanilla bean paste to the dough really did the trick, and the vanilla sugar coating added another fabulous layer of vanilla essence. The smell while they were baking was absolutely divine! And I could not keep my kids away from them. Truly addictive!
Be sure to check out Lick My Spoon, LinzLinzLinz, A Southern Fairytale, and Frankly My Dear for more recipes using Heilala vanilla, and more chances to win the great prize pack. :) Happy #HeilalaHolidays to you!
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup vanilla sugar
- Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add the sugars and vanilla bean paste. Beat until smooth and combined, but not fluffy.
- Add the egg yolks and beat until combined.
- Add the flour, cornstarch and salt all at once. Turn mixer on low and mix just until dry ingredients are combined with the butter/sugar mixture. Do not overmix. The last little bit of mixing can be done by hand. The dough should feel like firm playdough.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and gently press dough together. Cut dough in half. Shape each half into a log, about 9-10" in length and 2" in diameter. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Unwrap the dough logs and brush on all sides with the lightly beaten egg white. Sprinkle with the vanilla sugar on all sides.
- Cut the dough logs into ¼" rounds and place on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake for 17-20 minutes, one baking sheet at a time, roating halfway through baking time. The cookies should be lightly golden. Let cool slightly on baking sheet and transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
- Repeat with remaining cookies.
- Note: Be sure to brush the entire dough log with beaten egg white so the sugar sticks to it.