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Try this vanilla cookie recipe using basic cookie dough. Modify a bit and you can do peppermint, pistachio cranberry, and chocolate cookies!
Vanilla Cookie Recipe using Basic Cookie Dough
This basic cookie dough recipe is great to have in your recipe box – use it to create multiple flavors of cookies.
Have a craving for peppermint?…pistachios?…chocolate?. plain vanilla? We've got you covered with this basic cookie dough!
You can use this basic cookie dough as the base for your vanilla cookie recipe. We also have a few other fun flavor options listed below. They're all SO good!
How to make Vanilla Cookies from scratch:
The thing I love about this homemade vanilla cookie recipe is that the ingredients are simple. You probably have all the ingredients on hand in your pantry already.
PLUS you can make these in such a variety of ways – customize the flavor and coloring for whatever your family enjoys.
Ingredients for basic cookie dough:
- unsalted butter
- granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- vanilla extract
- all-purpose flour
You'll start off the recipe by beating the butter to make it cream.
Next add in your sugar and salt to the mixing bowl and beat until combined.
After that, you'll add in the egg and vanilla and beat until well mixed.
Finally, you'll want to add the flour a bit at a time until the mixture is mixed together completely.
Keep beating the cookie mixture until a cookie dough forms. Use the dough to create your vanilla cookies or refrigerate until ready to use.
Can you put vanilla extract in cookies?
Yes, of course!
While it's not a necessary for the structure of the cookie, leaving vanilla out will change the flavor. Vanilla extract does enhance the flavor in cookies, cakes, pies, muffins and other recipes.
For years, I didn't use vanilla extract to pinch pennies and my cookies always came out fine. If you need to skip it then you certainly can.
However, if you're using the basic cookie dough to make the vanilla cookies, I would HIGHLY recommend using a good vanilla.
Which is better – vanilla extract or vanilla flavoring?
I prefer vanilla extract but vanilla flavoring or imitation vanilla extract are much cheaper.
The different vanilla options depend on the amount of actual vanilla beans in the concoction. For the strongest vanilla flavor, use pure vanilla.
How do I bake these Vanilla Cookies?
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the cookie dough on a prepared baking sheet. Cook for eight to ten minutes or until slightly golden brown on the edges. Allow the cookies to cool completely and then store in an airtight large bowl.
Basic Cookie Dough and Vanilla Cookie Recipe
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
Basic Cookie Dough
- In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until fluffy.
- Add sugar and salt and beat until well combined and fluffy.
- Beat in the egg and vanilla until mixed well.
- Gradually add the flour and beat until well combined.
- Follow the steps for your cookie variations or store for later use
Vanilla Cookie Recipe
- Follow the steps above for the basic cookie dough. After you've combined your flour and beat until well combined, roll the dough into balls and place on prepared baking sheet.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and allow to preheat as you're preparing your cookies.
- Place in a 8x8 pan and lightly press as you place your dough evenly. If you'd like your cookies to be circles, make balls out of the cookie dough. Then lightly press down each cookie ball using a flat bottom glass dipped in water. Sprinkle lightly with sugar if desired.
- Bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until edges are set and slightly golden brown.
- Move cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
You can also make Peppermint Cookies from this basic cookie dough recipe!
These Peppermint Cookies are made using the basic cookie dough recipe that is listed above. You're just going to add in some extra flavoring, coloring, dipped chocolate and delicious crushed peppermints!
These peppermint cookies definitely look like a Christmas cookie. However, feel free to customize the color, flavor, and topping on these – making them perfect for any season! Or you can try our Cranberry Pistachio Cookies using this recipe too 🙂
Looking for more cookies like this Vanilla Cookie Recipe to try at home? These are some of our favorites!
- Easy Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Icing
- Homemade Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
- Reeses Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies
- Trail Mix Cookies
If you need a little more menu inspiration, see all of our family friendly recipes.