Salty Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies


Today this post is all about saying sorry…to yourself.

Do you ever have those days when you’re just irritable? Of course you do. Yesterday, this happened. But instead of being irritated with others (like what would normally happen), I found myself all by myself with no one around, thus resulting in me just being irritated with myself.

I was annoyed that I almost backed my car into my landlord’s car. I was annoyed that I kept tripping over cords. I was annoyed that it was hot and yet I was determined to blow-dry my hair. And then I got annoyed with myself for sweating so much. I was annoyed with myself that I let my pile of laundry get sky-high. I was annoyed that I really wanted a hamburger but was too lazy to drive somewhere. And then I just got really annoyed for being annoyed. Like, shut up. Ew. Stop whining.

It was like I was 2 people but wasn’t. Like, one really annoying, bad mood person and one totally innocent person. The innocent person totally taking the brunt of my irritableness. Humans are complicated.

I finally forced myself to snap out of it. I decided to be super nice to myself. I painted my nails. I watched a movie. And then I gave myself some cookies. Being nice is way more fun.

These cookies were inspired by a scoop of salty vanilla ice cream I had last week at my favorite ice cream shop in Los Angeles, Scoops.

The ice cream walked the perfect line between salty and sweet. Both flavors were noticeable without being overbearing.

After the cookie dough is whipped up, it takes a trip to the fridge to firm up.

Cookie dough balls are rolled in a combination of sugar and sea salt.

Thirteen minutes later the cookies come out with the perfect amount of sparkle and a nice crumb. These cookies are chewy and crumbling and easy and perfect. YES!

Salty Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies

Print this recipe!

Cookie Dough:
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 scant teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Salty/Sugar Coating:
1/2 cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt

1. To a small bowl, add the white granulated sugar and vanilla bean. Mix with your hands until the vanilla bean seeds are evenly distributed throughout the sugar. To a medium bowl, add the vanilla sugar, oil and butter. Using a stand-up mixer or hand-mixer (you could even use a whisk), beat until fairly smooth. Add the confectioners sugar and beat once again. Add the egg, beating until smooth.

2. To another medium bowl, stir the dry ingredients together: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, beating until combined, yet being sure not to over-mix.

3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, until it’s stiff enough to scoop easily and hold its shape; overnight is fine.

4. Just before shaping the cookies, preheat your oven to 350°F. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment.

5. Mix together the sugar and salt in a shallow pan or on a plate, and scoop the chilled dough by the tablespoon, rolling the dough into a ball using your palms. Next, roll the dough into the sugar/salt mixture, being sure to evenly coat. Place the cookies, evenly spaced, on the prepared baking sheets. Next, slightly press each cookie, flattening the tops. I did about 6 cookies per batch. And be sure to refrigerate the dough in between batches.

6. Bake the cookies for about 13 minutes, until their edges are just beginning to brown. Bake slightly longer for a crisper cookie.

7. Remove the cookies from the oven, and cool on the pan for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

8. As soon as the cookies are completely cool, store them airtight, to retain their crunchy texture. For soft cookies, allow them to rest uncovered overnight before wrapping and storing.

Recipe adapted from King Arthur’s Flour

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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar September 4, 2012 at 4:06 am

    I’ve never thought about saying sorry to myself, but booooy sometimes I need to! These cookies look awesome – so unique!

  • Reply Carmen September 4, 2012 at 4:38 am

    Ohh yes I know what is this !

  • Reply Emily @ She Makes and Bakes September 4, 2012 at 7:15 am

    These cookies look so good…I love the sweet/salty combo with the addition of the vanilla bean. Sold!

  • Reply christin September 4, 2012 at 7:22 am

    I’m totally going to make these when I’m done with the whole30.

  • Reply [email protected] September 4, 2012 at 8:22 am

    ooh salty vanilla bean cookies? sign me up!

  • Reply erin @ yummy supper September 4, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Interesting… I do think of salted caramel ( yum!), but never think of salty vanilla. I bet those cuties are really good. And I’m glad you were kind to your inner grump. The cookies must have made peace with her.

  • Reply lynn @ the actor's diet September 4, 2012 at 9:21 am

    scoops is my favorite too! i think we need a baking date…

  • Reply Dana September 4, 2012 at 9:53 am

    I’ve totally been there with the self-annoyance/self-loathing. Sometimes I just need to bake myself out of my funk. I’ll have to add these cookies to my list ;).

  • Reply laura @ glutton for nourishment September 4, 2012 at 10:02 am

    these cookies look incredible!! have you eve baked with vanilla bean paste (as opposed to actual vanilla beans)? i’ve been dying for an excuse to buy it and these cookies might be just that…

    • Reply Adrianna September 4, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      I actually have thought about doing something with the paste, but it’s so expensive. I feel like most people don’t want to drop $15 on a bottle of the stuff. But I bet using it with these would be amazing!

  • Reply Emily September 4, 2012 at 10:08 am

    I love confectioners sugar in cookies, it makes them so light and tender. And the mixture of salt and sugar to roll cookies in is genius, wish I thought of it and glad you shared!

    • Reply Adrianna September 4, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      That’s exactly right!

  • Reply Eileen September 4, 2012 at 10:18 am

    COOKIE COOKIE COOKIE! I’ve tried the salt & sweet thing with chocolate and caramels, but never with sugar cookies–most intriguing!

  • Reply Megan September 4, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Ooh! Salty vanilla ice cream and now salty vanilla cookies? I like the way you think. Ice cream is totally inspirational. And these are the perfect sugar sparkle! You’re totes right.

    P.S. I get annoyed with myself too. Being hungry AND hot sure doesn’t help things, right?!


  • Reply Nadia September 4, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Lovely cookies – anything with vanilla beans in them and I am HOOKED!

    Hope you’re day is better today and you’re soooo right – painting your nails always makes the day better. 🙂

  • Reply Melissa // the faux martha September 4, 2012 at 10:54 am

    And now I’m annoyed that I don’t have one of these in my hand right now. Drooling over here!

  • Reply lynn September 4, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Omg! I think we had the same kind of day yesterday! Drove over an hr to the mechanic and low and behold no one was there. Turns out it was a complete misunderstanding he thought he cancelled with me and he also forgot it was a holiday (a.k.a precious day off). Ahh..and it was such a nasty, rainy, icky kinda day. Needless to say I was so irritated. These cookies would have totally made me feel better 🙂

  • Reply Margarita September 4, 2012 at 11:09 am

    yes… i like those moments when we just love on ourselves… it is way better. and thanks for reminding me this. i totally forget it too many times for my own good. love your cookies! they are perfect mood-lifters!

  • Reply NicoleD September 4, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Oh man, I need to make these! The perfect apology to yourself 🙂

  • Reply Halle September 4, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I love this post because I’m toooootally having one of those days. Thanks for inspiring me to be nicer…to me. And eat cookies!

  • Reply Suzanne Perazzini September 4, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    That split personality thing can come in useful sometimes. It gives you a reality check and helps you snap out of unpleasant ways. But I do get being annoyed with yourself versus feeling sorry for yourself.

  • Reply Lucy September 4, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    These look gorgeous, and therefore dangerously addictive! Love the salty/sweet combo.

  • Reply RichmondTreatsKansasCityEats September 4, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Oh my these look so delicious!! Can’t wait to try this recipe!!

  • Reply Laura September 4, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Pinning NOW. YUM. These are so up my alley, I practically want to jump out of bed and make them now!

  • Reply Ashley M September 4, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Ugh. Another amazing recipe that proves why you’re in my top 5 of blogs. These look beyond good!

    • Reply Adrianna September 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      Thank you, Miss!

  • Reply Margherita September 5, 2012 at 12:47 am

    These look absolutely fantastic, can’t wait to try them!

  • Reply thelittleloaf September 5, 2012 at 1:26 am

    What gorgeous, simple cookies. Love the addition of a little salt.

  • Reply Kerry @ Kerry Cooks September 5, 2012 at 5:29 am

    These look wonderful, can’t imagine what they would taste like with a little salt but I’m sure its great!

  • Reply Ashley September 5, 2012 at 6:51 am

    I never knew it could get any better than a vanilla bean cookie and then you prove me wrong with the addition of salt. I’m a vanilla girl all the way!

  • Reply Jen @ Savory Simple September 5, 2012 at 7:07 am

    You are describing my week perfectly. Annoyance is in the air. But cookies help!

  • Reply Shiloh September 5, 2012 at 7:08 am

    Really nice post. Great writing.

  • Reply Jamie September 5, 2012 at 7:48 am

    These look amazing! I love salty and sweet combos! One question though. What temperature should the butter be?

    • Reply Adrianna September 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm

      Ahh. Room temperature. Just added it. Thanks for catching that!

  • Reply Nadia Marie September 5, 2012 at 7:54 am

    YUM! These look amazing! Saying sorry to oneself is always something that must be done. I think I may have to make these with my sister when she comes to visit from Seattle. xo

  • Reply Katie @ Blonde Ambition September 5, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Love love love all of this. I really *really* need to say sorry to myself more often…I totally understand taking out frustrations on yourself, I do it allll the time.

    These sound SO. good. I love how they sparkle!

  • Reply Heather McCann September 5, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Mmmmmm I’m bookmarking this. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  • Reply Danielle September 5, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Your story made me laugh, because it’s so familiar! I’ve had days like you’ve described – too often to mention : ) My days usally end in cookies and these look delicious! Salty vanilla sounds so good!!!

    Danielle xo

  • Reply Stacey September 6, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Man, I like you, kid. These sound wonderful, as per usual with you!

  • Reply Christina @ The Beautiful Balance September 6, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    WOW, such a unique combo! I will definitely try this, I love a salty and sweet combination.

  • Reply Christine September 7, 2012 at 6:51 am

    Oh dear. Sounds and looks yummy! I’m hungry, sitting at the office and have no food. I’ll try to make a gluten free version soon. I’m so in love with vanilla!

  • Reply Russell at Chasing Delicious September 7, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Now this is a cookie recipe! So delightfully simple and I bet delicious!

  • Reply Sweet & Salty Sugar Cookies September 9, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    […] Sweet & Salty Sugar Cookies (makes 2 dozen) Adapted from here and inspired by A Cozy Kitchen […]

  • Reply Heidi September 10, 2012 at 8:59 am

    I made these this weekend and they are fantastic. I added the insides of the whole vanilla bean though, I couldn’t help myself. Just wanted to thank you for the recipe!

    • Reply Adrianna September 10, 2012 at 9:29 am

      Oh awesome! YAY!

  • Reply Diios October 5, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    @Christina – When I halve recipes using an odd nubemr of eggs, I usually break out my scale. I crack the egg into a bowl and use a fork to break up the yolk and beat it. My rule of thumb is 50 g (without the shell) for a large egg so once I beat the egg, I just measure 25 g and add that to the recipe. If you don’t have a scale you could measure by volume or even estimate – I did both before I had my scale 🙂

  • Reply Lemon sugar cookies with vanilla bean and sea salt | à l'américaine October 12, 2012 at 9:04 am

    […] Lemon sugar cookies with vanilla bean and sea salt Adapted slightly from A Cozy Kitchen’s salty vanilla bean sugar cookies […]

  • Reply irene May 31, 2013 at 8:41 am

    So there is a good possibility that I am blind, but am I the only one who noticed that the vanilla bean /sugar mixture wasn’t put into the directions? Had to wing it and put it in with the creaming ingredients… hope that’s what it was supposed to be.

    • Reply Vicci Nolan September 25, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      Me, too, Irene. I just saw your comment.

  • Reply Vicci Nolan September 25, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    I keep reading the recipe over and over. Where does the vanilla get added? Did I miss it?

  • Reply Vicci Nolan September 25, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    I’m sorry, I mean the “vanilla sugar.”

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme September 25, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      AHHH! It gets added with the oil and butter. Adding that now. Sorry about that!

  • Reply Vicci Nolan September 30, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Thank you for fixing the recipe. I ended up adding the vanilla sugar at the end and they still turned out great. These are my new favorite cookies to make and EAT! Absolutely addicting!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme September 30, 2013 at 9:38 am

      Oh awesome! You know a few people have made them (personal friends included) and no one said anything about the mistake. I guess they just added the sugar whenever? Good to know that this recipe can kind of take a few mistakes here and there. Thanks for being patient and understanding! So glad they turned out! 🙂

  • Reply Dawn December 27, 2014 at 6:20 am

    I made these. They are perfection! I

  • Reply SBO May 13, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    I will try to do it.

    I have never tried cooking , These cookies looks awesome!

  • Reply ยูฟ่าเบท December 14, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    I’m fall in love your cookies. lol , it’s so nice

  • Reply Krystine January 5, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    I added lime zest to these and it was amazing! Thanks for the recipe 🙂