Well, maybe not! That’s why I’m bringing you this super easy seasonal cookie recipe thats a cinch to make with ingredients you’ll probably have on hand in case you need to throw together some last minute festivity.
This recipe is from a new cookbook called Pure Vanilla which Quirk books kindly sent me. I was RATHER dubious at first about a cookbook ALL about vanilla but on flicking through, I’ve been really impressed with the recipes which all sound delish (vanilla chip cookies anyone?). It also finally inspired me to make my own homemade vanilla extract which really is the CINCH people say it is – I can’t believe I waited this long!
Onto the recipe, the soft shortbread cookies were sandwiched together with a chocolate ganache in the original recipe, which I replaced with a traditional buttercream frosting, perfect for colouring in festive colours. These biscuits are really easy to make – the dough isn’t difficult to work with at all – and would be FAB for a baking session with kids.
For the biscuits – (makes about 40 individual biscuits or 20 sandwiches)
- 1.5 cups unsalted butter, very soft (I smush my butter into my cup measure)
- 1 cup golden caster sugar
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract and a dash of vanilla bean paste
- 2 large eggs and 2 large egg yolks
- good pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
- 4 cups plain flour
Let’s begin! Mix your soft butter and sugar in a stand mixer or by hand until light and fluffy. Beat in your eggs and egg yolks and vanilla and then, with the mixer running on low, add the flour one cup at a time – or if you’re doing it by hand, beat in each cup of flour before adding the next.
The mixture will now resemble a soft dough, so get a large square of clingfilm and drop your dough onto it. At this stage, you can also divide your dough up into batches and freeze some for cookies later (up to 6 months later). Leave your dough to rest for around 2 hours, or if you’re in a rush for cookies (ALWAYS) pop in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
Once the dough is rested, preheat your oven to 180C/gas 4/350F and roll it out on a floured worksurface. You’ll need to knead it a little to relax it after its time in the cold, and be sure to coat your rolling pin in flour and rotate the dough as you’re rolling it out, to around a half a centimetre thickness.
For the frosting –
While your cookies are baking, let’s make the frosting! Even though it seems like a small amount, it will easily be enough to sandwich all the cookies together.
- 1 cup soft unsalted butter
- 3-4 cups sifted icing sugar
- 3 tbsp milk
- pinch salt
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Beat your butter with the vanilla and salt and then add the icing one cup at a time (sift it!) and add the milk at the end. Drop half of the icing into another bowl, and then colour the buttercream, if you’d like, with gel colours and beat in.
Use a spoon (or small offset spatula if you have one) to smooth buttercream onto cookies and sandwich them together. I also decorated a few with these cute snowflake sprinkles.