Vanilla Bean Angel Pillows

I bet the name alone just got your attention! 😀  Whenever I read vanilla bean, I am immediately interested in a recipe.  Add on angel and pillow…well, forget about it.  I had to make these immediately!  I know I’ve said it before, but when I see those black vanilla bean specks it makes me so happy.  Unfortunately, vanilla beans are expensive.  But, they aren’t quite so bad if you buy them in bulk on Amazon.  I get around 30 vanilla beans for less than $20.  Still, I like to get all I can out of my beans, so I keep a big Tupperware container of sugar and throw all my used beans in there.  That way I always have vanilla sugar for baking, sprinkling on fresh berries and sweetening beverages.  So, I am glad I had some vanilla sugar on hand because I could never wait the 1 to 2 weeks to make homemade vanilla sugar for this recipe! 😀  The dough comes together easy enough with the dry ingredients, butter and a whole scraped vanilla bean mixed in the food processor.  At first, I thought I had made a mistake because it looked really powdery for a long while.  Then all of a sudden, it came together as a dough.  The dough is then rolled into balls, baked and rolled in vanilla sugar while the cookies are still warm   The cookie has a very delicate, crumbly buttery texture that just melts in your mouth as vanilla sugar coats your fingers and lips.  I honestly can’t stop eating them.  The problem is that they taste as good as their name implies.

Vanilla Bean Angel Pillows

Yield:  28 cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
1 cup cold butter, cubed
1/4 cup vanilla sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, combine flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Cover and process until combined.

Using the tip of a sharp knife, scrape pulp from vanilla bean. Add vanilla pulp to the flour mixture; add butter. Cover and process with several on/off pulses until mixture starts to cling, stopping once to scrape down side of bowl. Gather mixture into a ball.

Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. (I used parchment)  They don’t spread much so you can bake them in 2 batches.

Bake in the preheated oven about 12 minutes or just until edges start to brown (Start checking at about 9 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes.

Place vanilla sugar in a small bowl. While still warm, roll cookies in vanilla sugar to coat. Cool completely on wire rack.

Storage:   Layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Vanilla Sugar:  (If you need to make some from scratch)

1 quart sugar

1 vanilla bean

Fill a clean 1-quart jar with sugar. Using a sharp paring knife, slit vanilla bean lengthwise. Insert both halves into sugar, making sure all of the bean is covered with sugar. Secure lid and store in a cool dry place for 2 weeks before using. (Will keep indefinitely.)
Source: cookies and vanilla sugar from Better Homes and Gardens
Helpful Hints:
  • It’s very important to coat the cookies in vanilla sugar when warm or the sugar won’t stick well
  • I think this dough would lend itself well to citrus flavors with the addition of lemon, lime, or orange zest instead of vanilla bean.
  • I recommend using parchment- I seem to get less browning on the bottoms.
Leave a comment


  1. Vanilla Bean caught my attention 🙂 Your cookies look so good, I wish I had one with my tea right now!

  2. Ha, I knew it would! 😀 Thanks Abby. Oh, these would be so delicious with tea!


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