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These cookies are really delicious; they are buttery, flakey and packed with a burst of real vanilla. The first time I made them was for Thanksgiving in 2007 with my Aunt Susan. It was my first experience with a Sunset Magazine recipe, and I now know that Sunset never steers you wrong. She had the Sunset Thanksgiving Edition of that year, so that was the first year that I really began to turn to Sunset for holiday recipe inspiration, and thus my love for Sunset Magazine began. The most recent time that I visited her house, I found this goldmine:

I love Sunset Magazine

If you live in the west you really should check out this magazine. It is packed with amazing recipes, travel tips, day trip and weekend getaway destinations in the west, gardening advice and information about unique plants, and more. Sunset Magazine has been around for a long time, I even found some interesting editions from the 1930’s in an antique store! It is a really great magazine and I can’t wait to catch up on 6 months of it when I get home.

These buttery vanilla bean cookies were so decadent and easy that I have continued to make them almost every Autumn afterwards. It’s funny how a recipe can remind you of a season, but these cookies really could be made any time of year. You could simply substitute another shaped cookie cutter instead of the Fall leaf ones. In addition, these are egg free cookies, so they would be great for someone with an egg allergy.

Thanksgiving Vanilla Bean Cookie Recipe via Tsiporah Blog

I hope you’ll add these cookies to your Thanksgiving recipe repertoire, or at least save them for the winter holidays. They would be perfect with a warm mug of french press coffee or apple cider after dinner!

Buttery Vanilla Bean Cookies

Original recipe from Sunset Magazine Nov. 2007


1 cup of butter at room temperature, plus 1 tbsp
3/4 cup white sugar
1 vanilla bean
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups flour
Regular or coarse sugar crystals to top, or cinnamon sugar

Special Equipment

Mini Autumn leaf cookie cutters (this links to my favorite ones)


Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Split the vanilla bean pod in half and use the back of a knife to scrape out the vanilla beans on the inside. Use a mixer on medium to cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredient mixture into the butter and sugar and then mix on medium speed until the dough forms a ball.

Butter 2 cookie sheets and set aside. Split the dough into two balls and roll out until the dough is 1/8 inch thick. Using the assorted cookie cutters, cut cookies and place on the baking sheet. Use the back of a knife or a toothpick to lightly press lines into the leaf cookies. Sprinkle each cookie with sugar and bake until the edges just begin to become golden brown, about 10-14 minutes, rotating each pan halfway through the cook time.

Let the cookies cool before transferring them to a decorative plate. Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving/Holidays!

Vanilla Bean Butter Cookies for Thanksgiving | #Recipe via Tsiporah Blog


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