* 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
* 2 tsp. cream of tartar
* 1 tsp. baking soda
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
* 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
* 2 Tbsp. milk
* 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
* 1 tsp. pure ground vanilla beans* or 2 tsp. vanilla extract
* Vanilla sugar (recipe below)
* 1 recipe Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)
1. In medium bowl whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. In large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. Beat in milk, vanilla, and ground vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour mixture by hand. Dough will be soft.
3. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill dough about 30 minutes or until easy to handle. On lightly floured surface, roll half the dough at a time until 1/8 inch thick.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles from dough. Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles from the centers of half the dough circles. Place dough circles on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Reroll scraps, including the 1-inch dough rounds, and cut out additional dough circles as directed. Repeat with remaining dough half.
5. Sprinkle the dough circles that have the centers cut out with vanilla sugar. Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cookies cool on cookie sheets for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
6. Spread bottoms of the solid cookies with about 1-1/2 teaspoons of the Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting. Top each with one of the cookies with the center hole, sugar side up. Refrigerate filled cookies to store.
Makes 24 sandwich cookies.
Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting: In a medium bowl stir together 6 ounces cream cheese, softened; 1/4 cup powdered sugar; and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth.
Note: *Ground vanilla beans should not be confused with vanilla powder.
Vanilla Sugar: Pour 4 cups of sugar into a large, clean jar. Using a sharp paring knife, slit 1 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.)
~~yummy recipe and photo from: bhg.com~~
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