Saffron-Vanilla "Snickerdoodles"

Yield: 9 Large Cookies
Total Time:
30 mins
 
Recipe from The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee and shared with publisher permisssion. These are not really a traditional cinnamon-sugar snickerdoodle, theses cookies are non the less exquisite and the lover of one will love the other.
Be careful measuring out the saffron threads, as they can easily pass the fine line between perfect and too much. These make a large cookie in order to create the perfect balance between the edge crispness and center softness. One can always make them smaller, just adjust baking times as needed and be aware it may affect the texture.

Ingredients

  • About 30 threads Saffron
  • 1/2 Vanilla Bean
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) Milk
  • 2 cups (280g) all-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) Sugar
  • 1/2 cup (109g) packed light Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) Kosher Salt
  • 1 Egg (50g), at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) Vanilla Extract

Directions

  1. Crush the saffron threads with a mortar and pestle until powdery or grind them in a clean spice grinder; alternately, you can finely mince the saffron. The finer the powder, the more intense the saffron color and flavor in the cookies.
  2. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape the pulp into a small saucepan. Add the vanilla pod, milk, and saffron and cook over very low heat, just until the bubbles begin to form at the edges, between 180°F and 190°F. Alternately, combine the vanilla pulp, pod, milk, and saffron in a small microwaveable bowl, and microwave just until the milk is hot, 20-30 seconds. Cover and let steep for about 10 minutes; the milk should have a sunny yellow color.
  3. Sift the flour and baking soda into a medium bowl.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on low speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sugar, brown sugar, and salt and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the vanilla pod from the milk, squeezing off any liquid or pulp clinging to it back into the milk. In a medium bowl, combine the milk mixture, egg, and vanilla extract and whisk vigorously until well blended.
  6. With the mixer on medium speed, add the egg mixture very slowly, in a steady stream, and mix until well-incorporated and very smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix on medium speed for 30 more seconds.
  7. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until just uniform in texture.
  8. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the dough out into an airtight container or onto a piece of plastic wrap. Cover the container, or, if using plastic wrap, shape the dough into a round disk, wrap tightly, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 5 days.
  9. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  10. Roll 1/4 cup (60ml) portions of the dough into balls, and place then on the baking sheet, spacing them at least 2 inches apart.
  11. Bake for about 16 minutes, until golden but not too dark, rotating the pan midway through the baking time. Ideally the baked cookies will be tall and slightly undercooked in the center, and will buckle shortly after coming out of the oven. If the cookies don't buckle, don't worry; they'll still be delicious.
  12. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 10 minutes before removing.

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