Thick, chewy cookies that taste just like a bowl of vanilla ice cream!
Do you repurpose things that didn’t work out for their intended use? Or do you trash them and move on? The other day, I was trying to make a vanilla macaron filling by adapting an ice cream recipe, but it wasn’t working and I’d run out of patience with it. Faced with a bowl of rich, luscious vanilla cream that I had spent a morning (and more than a few $) on, I couldn’t bear the thought of tipping it into the garbage and it seemed inappropriate just to go at it with a spoon. I needed a way of repurposing the stuff, and fast because the day was getting away from me. What to do?!
Cookies seem to be the solution to many of life’s problems (or a pleasant distraction, at least), so a bit of flour and whatnot later, I was pleasantly distracted from failed kitchen experiments. For the moment… I haven’t given up on that macaron filling.
And speaking of repurposing, this recipe uses a scraped vanilla bean – either reserve the seeds for another recipe or use one you’ve already scraped and dried. Waste not, want not!
Makes about 3 dozen
250ml (1 cup + 2 tsp) whole cream
1 vanilla bean (split and scraped)
2 large egg yolks
250g (2 cups unsifted) powdered (confectioners’) sugar
250g (2 scant cups) all-purpose (plain) flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
Pour the cream into a small, heavy-based saucepan, add the vanilla bean and place over medium-low heat. When it starts steaming, remove from heat and allow to infuse for an hour, then remove the bean and reheat cream to steaming.
Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl until smooth. Pour a little of the warm cream into the yolks, whisking constantly, then return the yolk mixture to the saucepan with the rest of the cream. Bring the mixture to steaming over low heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens just enough for the whisk to leave a trail. Don’t overcook it or it may start to separate – if that does happen, remove from heat and whisk vigorously.
Transfer custard to a small bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap to the surface and refrigerate for an hour or so, until cool.
Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F). Line two baking sheets with parchment.
Transfer custard to a mixing bowl, loosen with an electric mixer on low speed, then beat in powdered sugar in batches, about a third of a cup at a time.
Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder, then fold into custard mixture until fully combined.
Drop walnut sized balls of batter 5cm (2″) apart onto one baking sheet and flatten slightly with your fingers.
Bake in centre of oven, one sheet at a time, until cookies are set, about 12 minutes.
Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.