Polar Bear Vanilla Cookies
Christmas is the perfect excuse to try out all those cookie recipes you have wanted to make, and I’m going to give you a very good reason to bake this weekend. I have decided to share a Christmas recipe with you every single week for the rest of the year, and I’m really exited about this one. It’s ridiculously easy to make, doesn’t require a lot of time to rest in the fridge before you can bake them and has endless opportunities for flavour variations. This vanilla cookie is the perfect counterpart to the gorgeous dark, spicy ginger bread cookies as they are delicate and white with a subtle hint of vanilla. There is something special about cut-out cookies because it feels wonderfully childish to make polar bear and moose shaped cookies and decorate them and you can engage everyone in the family (or enjoy all the decorating yourself)!
TO MAKE VANILLA COOKIES YOU’LL NEED
100g butter, softened at room temperature
250g white flour
1 large egg
Vanilla seeds from half a vanilla pod (you can of course use vanilla powder or extract if you don’t have vanilla in its purest form)
For decorations you’ll need
200g icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk or water
I’m using liquorice, and adding lemon and pomegranate juice to my icing, but you can use hearts, glitter or any kind of sparkle you want. The colour of the pomegranate frosting is absolutely insane, it is so bright hot pink that you think it's a joke. And it tastes better than the artificial colouring you can buy at the store.
Start by creaming the butter and sugar, until it gets fluffy and while that is all happening you can remove the seeds from the vanilla pod, and blend it with a little bit of sugar to separate them. Beat in the egg and vanilla sugar, before adding the flour a little at a time. Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out until it is 1cm thick. Cut out the shapes you want, I’m using star, moose and polar bear cookie cutters! Place them on a lined baking tray and bake the cookies at 190’C for around 8 minutes, until they get a really pale golden brown colour. When you take them out of the oven, you should leave them on the hot tray for another 5 minutes to let them harden before moving them onto a cooling rack. This recipe will make three filled baking trays.
For the icing, just sift the powder sugar into a little bowl and carefully mix in the milk while constantly stirring. You are sifting the powder sugar to avoid getting any pockets of dry icing sugar in your mixture; it should be completely smooth and delicious. If you want to try the different taste variations I mentioned, here is how you do it:
For the lemon variation you exchange half of the milk with lemon juice (make sure to mix in the milk completely, before adding the lemon juice), and add some lemon zest on top.
Pomegranate has a much more subtle flavour than lemon, so in this variation you will substitute all the liquid with pomegranate juice. It has the most delicious taste, and a wonderful bright pink colour.
I love precision, sharp edges and clean lines, but when I try to decorate something that is somehow related to food it always turns out like it would if my six year old brother had done it. It is truly frustrating that my natural way of doing it is more on the rustic side, and not even the good kind of rustic. Anyways, I’m not trying to paint a picture of myself as perfect (said the control freak and perfectionist) so I’m going to show you my insane kitchen baking chaos instead. I'm sure my little brother would be proud of me.
They have their very own kind of charm though. (Right?)
Keep the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature, and enjoy with your tea, coffee or gløgg. They are also perfect little gifts! I'm bringing a bunch of these little darlings to a Christmas party tonight, and I'm gonna pair them up with a little something bubbly. Have a wonderful Saturday beauties!