Glazed Vanilla Buttermilk Cookies

Use leftover buttermilk to make cookies!

I dunno about where you guys live, but around here, it’s impossible to find buttermilk in small containers.  Since I don’t regularly use buttermilk, most of the carton ends up sitting on the bottom shelf of my fridge, all by its lonesome, until it becomes funky and I toss it out with the Thursday trash pick up.

What’s a gal to do with all of that extra buttermilk?

Bad Decision:  Add it to my morning cup o’ coffee.

 

Putting buttermilk in your coffee
(sorry, I couldn’t resist.  I confess to getting a giggle out of rage comics)

Wise Decision #1:  Freeze it!  Yep, you can totally freeze buttermilk!  Pour a tablespoon  into each compartment of an ice cube tray and freeze those puppies.   Then pop out the frozen buttermilk cubes and transfer them to another freezer safe container.  Since the cubes are measured by tablespoons, it’s easy to pull out however many you need to thaw for a given recipe.  It will keep in the freezer for about 3 months.  Clever, eh?

Wise Decision #2:  Try new recipes!  If you don’t want to bother with portioning out your buttermilk to freeze, you can always experiment with a few new recipes to use as much of it as you can.  This post is the result of one such experiment – vanilla buttermilk cookies with a sweet buttermilk glaze.

I found the original recipe at Epicurious, submitted by Edna Lewis: get the original version right here!

I stayed pretty close to Edna’s version, except I used orange zest instead of lemon, because that’s what happened to be in my refrigerator at the time!

Glazed Vanilla Buttermilk Cookies
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Author:
Serves: 4 dozen cookies
Ingredients
  • FOR COOKIES:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • FOR GLAZE
  • 1½ cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with a center rack.
  2. Grease 2 large cookie sheets.
  3. Whisk together flour, zest, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Beat together butter and sugar with electric mixer until fluffy.
  5. Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  6. Add vanilla and mix well.
  7. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk alternately at low speed and mix until smooth.
  8. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough about 1½ inches apart onto cookie sheets.
  9. Bake one sheet at a time, until cookies puff up and edges are golden, about 15-18 minutes per batch. Your oven may vary.
  10. If using the same cookie sheet, allow the sheet to cool before dropping in the dough for the second batch to prevent excessive spreading and browning of edges.
  11. Cool finished cookies on sheets 1 minute, then transfer to racks to finish cooling.
  12. Whisk together all glaze ingredients and brush onto tops of warm cookies.
  13. Let stand until cookies are cooled and glaze is set.

 

Use leftover buttermilk to make cookies!
I love baking with any kind of citrus zest.  The dough takes on the most amazing fresh smell.  The fresh buttermilk in this recipe gave this dough its own unique delicious aroma, and I had to stop myself before I dove in and devoured the raw dough, finished cookies be darned!

Use leftover buttermilk to make cookies!
.. but it’s really okay if you want to take a little taste.  We’re all friends here.  We don’t judge.

Use leftover buttermilk to make cookies!
Like most drop cookies, they don’t have to be perfect.  Imperfection is part of their charm.  A greased cookie sheet helps the dough spread while it bakes, and those little peaks and sharp edges will, for the most part, smooth out.

Use leftover buttermilk to make cookies!
People like taking sides, I’ve noticed.  Dog people vs. cat people.  Democrat vs. Republican. Team Jacob or Team Edward (sorry, I couldn’t resist), and lest we forget: chocolate people vs. vanilla people.

Use leftover buttermilk to make cookies!
If I’m being perfectly honest, I like vanilla.  I also like white chocolate.  Bavarian cream is the stuff of daydreams.   Don’t get me wrong, chocolate should garner some kind of government regulation what with all of its addictive properties, as well as its ability to turn women into dangerous, raging beasts during extended periods of withdrawal (or during certain times of the month).  But if faced with a choice between a ‘white’ dessert, or a chocolate dessert.. I’m gonna go for the vanilla/cream option every time.  How about you?

Use leftover buttermilk to make cookies!
The light glaze really puts the finishing touch on these cookies.   On their own, they aren’t too sweet.  Sometimes I like a dessert that won’t sit in my stomach like a brick afterwards, while I wallow in shame and regret.

But sometimes I do like that.

 

 

Use leftover buttermilk to make cookies!
White on white on white.  My kind of dessert, right there.

 

Use leftover buttermilk to make cookies!

These cookies are lovely, puffy pillows with a cake-like texture inside.  While they don’t scream “EASTER!!” as obviously as chocolate bunnies, colored eggs, or hot cross buns, they would make a nice addition to a tray during a holiday potluck.

——

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About Erin

Erin Browne and her husband Matt are the people behind the curtain here at Brownie Bites. Together, they blog about recipes they love, places they go, and things that they do. There are also cute dog pictures. Lots and lots of them. You can follow Erin on twitter @erinbrowne.
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Comments

  1. Day 91 creeps closer and closer and THESE….these make my list of things to try for our one “bad” day a week. 

    Also, ZEST! :)

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