3 Must-Try Delicious Vanilla-Based Cookie Recipes

When it comes to cookies, US-based company Nielsen-Massey knows a thing or two. They have been making their vanilla extract in Illinois for more than a century! The vanilla beans in Nielsen-Massey’s Gourmet Vanilla Extract are hand-picked and hand-cured, and a precise cold extraction process preserves more than 300 flavour compounds from the vanilla. No other company has the same method, which guarantees both quality and distinct flavour. 

Ideal for little ones and grown up gourmands, these mouth-watering cookie recipes make an excellent weekend activity – especially for anyone with a sweet tooth.

1 Shiitake Dark Chocolate Cookies

This unusual recipe marries sweet and savoury: the earthy notes of shiitake mushrooms complement bittersweet dark chocolate for a luxurious and gourmet treat that is sure to impress.

20 mins prep, 14 mins cook.  Makes 16 cookies

• 226 g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
• 150 g plain flour
• 42 g unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder
• 2 tsps baking powder
• 2 tbsps shiitake powder – this can be purchased online, at specialist food or spice shops. To make homemade shiitake powder, blend dried shiitake mushrooms and sift blended powder through a fine mesh sieve
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 113 g unsalted butter at room temperature
• 320 g light brown sugar
• 2 large eggs at room temperature
• 1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract
• 80 ml whole milk at room temperature
• 189 g brown sugar

1 Melt the dark chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave, in 30-second increments, stirring with a spatula in between each round until fully melted. Set aside to cool.
2 In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, shiitake powder and salt. Set aside.
3 In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer), beat butter and light brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy – about 3 minutes.
4 Add eggs one at a time, scraping down sides of the bowl after each addition.
5 Add vanilla extract and melted chocolate.
6 Add in half of the dry ingredient mixture and combine until fully incorporated.
7 Add in the milk, followed by the remaining dry ingredients, and combine until fully incorporated.
8 Remove dough from bowl and form into a flat disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm – about 2 hours.
9 Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking tray with baking paper.
10 Place brown sugar in a medium bowl.
11 Divide dough into 16, 1-inch balls and roll cookie balls in sugar to coat.
12 Place cookies on prepared tray, leaving enough space between each cookie to allow for spreading – about 2 inches.
13 For best results, bake until the surface of the cookie cracks – about 14 minutes.
14 Place cookies on wire racks to cool completely.

2 One Bowl Banana Bread Breakfast Cookies with Vanilla Bean Glaze

These breakfast bites are the perfect dunkers for your morning cup of coffee.
Cookies for breakfast are definitely indulgent, but this recipe features wholesome and energy-giving bananas, almond butter and oats.

10 min prep, 15 min cook. Makes 15 cookies.

• 2 ripe bananas
• 1 egg
• 125 g almond butter
• 1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract
• 90g rolled oats
• 60g wholemeal pastry flour
• 100g coconut sugar
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp salt

For the vanilla bean glaze:
100 g icing sugar
2 tbsps almond milk (or milk of choice)
½ teaspoon of Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract

For the cookies:
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
2 Mash the bananas with a fork or potato masher in a large mixing bowl.
3 Add the egg, almond butter and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
4 Add oats, flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt, mixing until just incorporated.
5 Spoon the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, making about 15 cookies.
6 Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cookies turn golden brown.
7 Allow to cool completely before adding the glaze.

For the glaze:
8 Add confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla extract to a bowl.
9 Whisk until smooth then drizzle onto cooled cookies.

3 Brown Nutter Chocolate Snickerdoodles

This snickerdoodle recipe is a serious upgrade on the classic cookie. Adding cocoa powder and browned butter makes this recipe richer and more chocolicious than your average cookie. The rich flavour of the Pure Vanilla Extract adds to the deep flavour in these cookies.

40 mins prep, 8 mins.  Makes 24 cookies.

For the cookie dough:
• 226 g butter
• 375 g plain flour
• 60 g cocoa powder
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 2 tsps cream of tartar
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 330 g light brown sugar
• 120 g granulated sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 egg yolk
• 1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract
• 1 tbsp Greek yoghurt

For the sugar coating:
• 75 g granulated sugar
• 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 Preheat oven to 180°C and line two baking trays with baking paper and set aside.
2 Cut butter into evenly sized pieces.  Melt it in a small saucepan over a medium-high heat and using a whisk, gently swirl the butter around the pan to melt.
3 Once the butter is completely melted, it will begin to foam. Turn the heat down to medium and let it bubble for 2-3 minutes, whisking frequently until brown milk solids appear. As soon as the butter is toasty brown and smells nutty, remove from heat and transfer into a heat-proof bowl.
4 In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon and salt.
5 In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add light brown sugar and granulated sugar. Carefully pour in melted butter and mix together for 4-5 minutes.
6 Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg and egg yolk, vanilla extract and yoghurt and mix for 1 minute.
7 Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined and a dough forms.
8 In a separate small bowl add the ingredients for the sugar coating and stir until combined. 9. Roll the dough into balls using about 2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie.
10 Roll each cookie dough ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture until thoroughly coated.
11 Place cookies on prepared baking trays, leaving enough room between each cookie to account for spreading – about 2 inches.
12 Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are set around the edges but still soft in the centre. Be careful not to overbake!
13 Allow snickerdoodle cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Nielsen-Massey’s Gourmet Vanilla Extract comes in distinctive 60ml and 118 ml brown bottles, available from Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Lakeland. Find even more recipe inspiration via nielsenmassey.com

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