The lavender vanilla bean sugar cookies are soft cutout cookies scented with dried lavender and vanilla bean. Decorated with a glaze and a gold splatter, the tutorial for these cookie is easy and fun!
Total Time:1 hour 15 minutes
For the cookies
1 teaspoon dried culinary lavender
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract
For the icing
3 cups powdered sugar
3–6 tablespoons of milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To decorate your cookies, you will need
Food grade gold lustre dust (see notes)
Clear extract or liquor (I use clear vanilla or vodka)
A silicone basting brush
To prepare the cookies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Grind the lavender slightly using a food processor, coffee grinder, or mortar and pestle. Combine the lavender and remaining dry ingredients and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth and well combined, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and extract and cream until combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir on low just until combined.
Dump the dough crumbles out on to a lightly floured surface and work together into one ball with your hands. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to just over 1/4″ thicken and use a medium sized cookie cutter to cut shapes. If the dough ever gets too soft, refrigerate briefly.
Place shapes on a baking sheet and freeze briefly for about 5 minutes.
Once chilled, bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes and then cool on a cooling rack. Allow cookies to cool completely prior to icing.
For the icing
Sift or whisk powdered sugar to remove lumps.
Add 3 tablespoons of the milk and the extract, whisking until combined. Continue to add milk until it is the right viscosity. You will want thicker frosting for piping. To test viscosity, run your whisk or a knife through the bowl of frosting- your frosting should slowly move back together until you can’t see any trace of the whisk any longer. This process should take about 6-8 seconds. If the frosting is too thick, it will not pool back together, and if it is too thin, it will pool back together too quickly. Add more milk for a thinner icing and more powdered sugar if your icing becomes too thin.
Cover tightly in a tupperware or with a wet paper towel if you are not using it immediately, as frosting will dry out and become clumpy. Whisk occasionally and add more milk if it becomes too thick.
When ready to frost your cookies, cover your work space in wax paper. Set out some cookie racks to place your frosted cookies on. To frost, hold each cookie by its rim and dip the face of it directly into the icing. Allow any excess to drip off the sides. Add more milk or sugar, if desired, to modify the consistency of your icing.
To decorate your cookies
Cover your workspace in parchment or wax paper. Lay dry, frosted cookies out on the paper.
Scoop 1/4 teaspoon lustre dust into a small dish and add 1/8 teaspoon of extract or liquor. Stir until the lustre dust is all dissolved. You can add an additional 1/8 teaspoon of liquor, if needed, but take care to not add too much, as this can cause your sugar icing to dissolve and bubble up.
Dip a silicone basting brush in the liquid gold, and dab any excess off on the side of the bowl. Do a test splatter on a paper towel or extra sheet of wax paper. To splatter, I hold my silicone brush parallel to the work surface, draw back slightly at the wrist, and then fling the brush downward, like you’re swatting a fly or hitting a drum. The size and shape of your silicone bristles can change the way your splatter looks, so do a few test splatters before you move to your cookies. Once ready to decorate your cookies, splatter then in the same manner you did your tester and allow to dry completely before packing or storing.
For a deeper, more concentrated gold color, use as little alcohol as you can. The more liquid in the splatter, the lighter it will be.
I tested this technique using a natural hair basting brush and it was not successful. I recommend a silicone brush for best effect.
If desired, you can pipe the icing on your cookies for a more polished, perfected look. There is a tutorial for this in the cookies archives of my blog. You will need you frosting to be a bit thicker.
Be sure to purchase food grade, edible lustre dust. I purchased mine on Amazon!