saffron vanilla snickerdoodles

When I read about these cookies, made by one of our favorite coffee places in San Francisco on one of my favorite food blogs, I knew I’d have to try them when we were in the city.  I love snickerdoodles & these were described as having “an unusual butterscotch flavor from the combination of saffron, brown sugar and vanilla”.  So basically, taking an already delicious cookie & packing it full of flavors I love.

 I ate these cookies for breakfast, dessert after breakfast & snacks while in San Francisco.  For research…because I knew after that first bite that I would have to try my hand with the recipe.  I need these cookies in my life.  & they’re too good not to share, which is why I chose to make them for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.

We received three dozen delicious cookies from all over the US & sent three dozen of these Saffron Vanilla Snickerdoodles to their lucky recipients:  Vicki, Cookie, Rebecca & of course, we had to eat some ourselves.

Now, were they as good as the original?  Close.  The flavor was almost there, but ours were a little softer than the ones at Blue Bottle, spread out a bit more & didn’t achieve the unique buckle that happens when you take them out of the oven…but not bad for a first try.

I think we need to go back to San Francisco & try some more, so we can make sure to get this recipe juuuuuuust right 🙂

makes 9 large cookies

about 30 threads saffron
1/2 vanilla bean
2 tablespoons milk
2 cups (9.9 oz / 280 g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (4 oz / 113 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (3.5 oz / 100 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (3.8 oz / 109 g) light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg (1.8 oz / 50 g), at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Using a mortar & pestle, or clean spice grinder, crush the saffron into a fine powder.  Transfer to a small pan.

Split the vanilla bean lengthwise & scrape the pulp from the inside.  Add both the pulp & the bean to the saucepan with the saffron.  Add the milk & cook over low heat until bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pan, or until the milk reaches between 180° to 190°.  Remove from the heat, cover & let steep for 10 minutes.

Sift the flour & baking soda together in a medium bowl.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on low until smooth.  Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar & salt.  Continue to beat on low until well combined.  Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl, then turn the mixer to medium & beat the mixture until light & fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.

Remove the vanilla bean from the milk & be sure that any remaining pulp makes it back into the milk.  Add the egg & vanilla extract & whisk until combined.

Turn the mixer back on medium & add the milk/egg mixture very carefully, in a steady stream, until everything is well combined & smooth.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Turn the speed on low & add the flour mixture, just until fully incorporated.  Dump the dough out onto plastic wrap, shape into a rough disk & refrigerate for at least 3 hours & up to 5 days.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.  Scoop the dough into 1/4 cup portions, roll into a ball & place on the prepared baking sheet at least 2 inches apart.  Bake for 16 minutes, rotating the pan once in the middle, until golden.  Let cool for 10 minutes on the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack.

from The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee: Growing, Roasting, and Drinking, with Recipes via 101 Cookbooks

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8 Responses to saffron vanilla snickerdoodles

  1. LeAndra says:

    This is the most brilliant Snickerdoodle idea ever. I will definitely be trying this recipe at home. I also love that you eat dessert after breakfast.

  2. KeAnne says:

    Those look amazing! Definitely going to have to make those! I have another bloggy friend who participated in that same exchange. Meet Justine! She posts awesome recipes too.

  3. Justine says:

    YUM! These look fabulous. Lots of people seemed to do herb/unusual spice cookies this year. Love the new trend.

    I’m KeAnne’s blogger friend in NJ … and I think I’ve been to your blog before. Am now drooling again over your archives. 🙂

  4. Pingback: The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012 Recipe Roundup Part 2 | the little kitchen

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