Vanilla and Thyme Slice and Bake Cookies

Vanilla Bean and Thyme Slice and Bake Cookies (via abeautifulmess.com) Slice and bake cookies are the best for two main reasons. The first is the most obvious. Having some frozen, ready to bake cookie dough in your freezer makes it super easy to just be minutes away from freshly, home-baked cookies. So if you end up with unexpected guests, this little trick will ensure you still end up looking like a real life Martha Stewart.

Oh, that’s not one of your goals? Well, just me then. 🙂

Vanilla Bean and Thyme Slice and Bake Cookies (via abeautifulmess.com)But the second reason is actually my favorite. Having cookie dough in your freezer, ready to go means you can bake just 2-3 cookies and save the rest for later. Freshly baked cookies just for me?! Uh… yes, please. Sounds more fancy than heated tiles.

These little slice and bake delights combine the flavors of vanilla bean and thyme for a sweet and slightly herbal flavor. These cookies are rich and buttery with a texture somewhere between a crispy sugar cookie or a soft shortbread. They go well with afternoon tea. Or late night movie watching—whatever your speed. 😉

Slice and bake cookie recipeVanilla and Thyme Slice and Bake Cookies, makes 26-28 cookies

1 cup softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon thyme leaves, plus more for decorating
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt

For the glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

First, cream together the butter, sugar, and the seeds from the vanilla bean. To remove them just slice the bean down the center, and then use the tip of your knife to scrape the seeds out. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the thyme and egg and whisk together until well incorporated.

Thyme glazeThen, stir in the flour and salt until a dough ball forms. You may need to use your (clean) hands to press the dough together here. Roll the dough into long cylinder, cover in plastic wrap, and freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight. You can keep this frozen in your freezer for at least a month (probably longer).

When you are ready to make cookies, remove from the freezer and allow to sit out for a few minutes while your oven preheats. Then slice into 1/4 inch or slightly thicker rounds and place on a baking sheet lined with a baking mat or parchment paper.

Bake at 325°F for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the cookies on a cooling rack.

In the meantime, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Dip the cooled cookies into the glaze, then place back on the cooling rack to allow excess glaze to drip off (put some wax paper underneath for easy clean up).

If you are feeling fancy (remember, we are going for real life Martha here), you can decorate the tops with a few thyme leaves as well.

Vanilla and Thyme Slice and Bake Cookies (via abeautifulmess.com)Here’s a few notes about these cookies:

-I find the best way to soften butter is to leave it out on the counter (out of the refrigerator) all day, or all night before you want to use it.

-These cookies are super delicious even without the glaze. So if you ARE just making 2-3 for yourself one night, feel free to skip the glaze if you don’t want to waste any.

-You can use leftover vanilla bean pods (what you scraped the seeds from) for making your own vanilla extract.

-You can swap out the thyme for rosemary or (food grade) lavender. I’d use a little less of either of these as thyme has a milder taste, at least to me. 😉

Happy cookie baking! Also, if you’re not feeling these delicate little slice and bake cookies, might I recommend Chocolate Snowcap Mountain Cookies or Blueberry Muffin Cookies. xo. Emma

Vanilla and Thyme Slice and Bake Cookies

Rich and buttery cookies with the flavors of vanilla bean and thyme

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cookies, slice and bake cookies
Servings 26 cookies
Author Emma Chapman

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves plus more for decorating
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour all-purpose
  • teaspoon salt

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon milk
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. First, cream together the butter, sugar, and the seeds from the vanilla bean. To remove them just slice the bean down the center, and then use the tip of your knife to scrape the seeds out.

    Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the thyme and egg and whisk together until well incorporated.

  2. Then, stir in the flour and salt until a dough ball forms. You may need to use your (clean) hands to press the dough together here.

    Roll the dough into long cylinder, cover in plastic wrap, and freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight. You can keep this frozen in your freezer for at least a month (probably longer).

  3. When you are ready to make cookies, remove from the freezer and allow to sit out for a few minutes while your oven preheats.

    Then slice into 1/4 inch or slightly thicker rounds and place on a baking sheet lined with a baking mat or parchment paper.

  4. Bake at 325°F for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the cookies on a cooling rack.
  5. In the meantime, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Dip the cooled cookies into the glaze, then place back on the cooling rack to allow excess glaze to drip off (put some wax paper underneath for easy clean up).

    If you are feeling fancy (remember, we are going for real life Martha here), you can decorate the tops with a few thyme leaves as well.

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. 

  • Was glad to see Kelley’s comment about using vanilla extract. I also don’t have a vanilla bean- so will make these cookies with what I have. Hopefully they will be delicious.

  • Just made a batch of these for a last minute xmas hostess gift and they’re wonderful. I didn’t have vanilla bean, so substituted extract, but I did use fresh thyme. Great recipe!

  • haha thanks to google I think I just cracked the ´mystery´ – all-purpouse flour is the same a regular white flour it seems 😀

  • what would you recommend if all-purpose flour is not available in your country :P?

  • Oh my goodness, these look so delicious!

    ♥ Jasmin N | Little Things With Jassy

  • The only bad thing about slice and bake cookies is the sad lack of cookie cutters involved 🙁

  • Totally made these today. Also made a variation with lemon zest. So delicious!

  • Picked up the ingredients and made these with my little sister when I got home from work, the batter is amazing, we’re so excited to bake them!

  • These are beautiful AND sound amazing. Saving this recipe to make STAT.
    www.wonderlandsam.com

  • These cookies look so yummy and they look super easy to make! Definitely going on my baking list for the week!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  • oh my, these sound delicious. I love anything that is vanilla flavored, and so does my husband, so I am going to have to make these for us. Thanks for the recipe.

    Blessings!

    Claudia
    http://withinthepagesofabook.com

  • These looks so elegant and yummy!
    Thanks for sharing!!

    http://snapsnpixels.blogspot.com/

  • These make me want to have a tea party! They’re so pretty!!! Thanks for the recipe.

  • Elegant totally fits, they feel like fancy little tea cookies. I especially love the tiny little specs of vanilla bean, but I don’t feel like you can totally see it in the images. I tried! Love the look of vanilla bean though.

    -Emma

  • I got so many awesome recipes to try already, I guess I’ll just add this one 😉 x

    Jessica — NinetyCo 

  • They look so delicious! Loving the touch of thyme.

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

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