Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies with Vanilla Sugar and Blood Orange Glaze

All vanilla everything.

Who doesn’t love cooking or baking with vanilla? This month, we’re partnering with Sara Forte of Sprouted Kitchen to share tips, insights and recipes featuring vanilla.

Vanilla bean is a rarity in the culinary world in the sense that it’s nearly impossible to overdo it. Because it brings a subtle depth, sweetness and aroma to everything it touches, vanilla bean can be doubled-down, and still taste amazing. That’s exactly what we do with these cookies, and by incorporating vanilla into the cookie base as well as the sugar topping, the results are glorious for vanilla-lovers.

For this recipe, the vanilla sugar should be made at least a week in advance, preferably two. This does take some forethought, but it is important to take the time to infuse the vanilla aroma and flavor throughout all of the granulated sugar. Make a double batch for your holiday baking this season, then you’ll have it on hand. It can be used in place of regular granulated sugar wherever needed – and if you’re a coffee drinker, this will be your new best friend.

Real vanilla beans do dry out and lose flavor, so buy them in small amounts and keep them in a well-sealed container. If you don’t have the time to prep the vanilla sugar in advance and need some quickly, use the scraped-out beans. That said, the pods whose beans have already been used still give a great flavor as well if you add them to your jar of granulated sugar. Use them for a vanilla-scented simple syrup (perfect for a snazzed-up Moscow Mule) as well!

Live.Love.Lux Tip: Bake to perfection, thanks to the dual-fan convection heat in your Electrolux wall oven.

Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies with Vanilla Sugar and Blood Orange Glaze

"With all the indulgence going on this time of year, I prefer to make these cookies on the small side. You may make them slightly larger, but note that the cooking time will likely still not change to keep them tender in the middle." -Sara

Servings: 20 cookies



Vanilla sugar:

Seeds from half a vanilla bean

3/4 cup cane sugar

1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

A scant 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup natural cane sugar

1/3 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoon whole milk yogurt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
seeds from half of a vanilla bean

1 large egg

Blood orange glaze:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

zest from one blood orange

2 tablespoon fresh squeezed blood orange juice


Make the vanilla sugar. In a container with an airtight lid, mix the vanilla bean seeds with the sugar. See note above. Set aside until needed.

Preheat the oven to 360 degrees. Line a baking sheet (or two depending on size) with parchment.

Into a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a stand mixer (or by hand), cream the butter and sugars together well until fluffy. Add in the yogurt, vanilla extract, vanilla beans and egg and run the mixer to combine, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the flour to the butter mixture and mix until the dough is just evenly mixed. Chill the dough for 15 minutes. The dough may be made a day in advance.

Roll the dough into tablespoon-size balls and then roll them in the prepared vanilla sugar. Arrange them 2” apart on the baking sheet and then give them a gentle press down with the bottom of a floured glass.

Bake on the middle rack for 10 minutes. They should look slightly underdone. Remove to cool and set.

While the cookies cool, make the glaze. Combine the powdered sugar, zest and blood orange juice until smooth. Adjust the thickness based on preference (more sugar for a thicker glaze or a tiny bit more juice if you prefer it thin).

Onto the cooled cookies, drizzle the glaze. Allow the glaze to set for 30 minutes and enjoy.

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