Tag Archives: vanilla

Vanilla Buttermilk Cookies

Vanilla Buttermilk Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.com

Oh, buttermilk.  You’re the key to this girl’s heart.

My kids always go crazy when I buy buttermilk.  I generally buy it a quart at a time, and they love using it for buttermilk pancakes, and more importantly buttermilk syrup.  I don’t often let them make buttermilk syrup because it’s even more candy-like than regular syrup, and it’s sort of a big mess too.

Personally, I would rather use my buttermilk for baked good than for pancakes.  I’m just not much of a pancake kind of girl, what can I say?

There is really no way to turn down cookies and muffins and cakes and scones made with buttermilk.  Maybe it’s the acidic quality of buttermilk that breaks everything down, and makes it soft and flavorful and amazing, I don’t know.  And I don’t care, as long as I have some buttermilk baked goods in the house.

Vanilla Buttermilk Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.com

For today’s buttermilk creation, I decided to keep it simple and flavor the cookies with vanilla.

The problem with vanilla is that it is so frequently used in baking, it can actually be a hard flavor to recognize.  When my son, The Lizard, ate a cookie, I asked him what it tasted like.  He first talked about the texture (creamy, he called it), and then started guessing at flavors.  Cinnamon?  Lemon?

Maybe it’s his unrefined palate, but I suspect it’s at least partly because vanilla is a hard flavor to place.

Vanilla Buttermilk Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.comVanilla Buttermilk Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.com

My vanilla-obsessed daughter is always thrilled to have vanilla treats in the house!  I usually stick her with my triple chocolate treats every week.

This cookie makes us both happy! 


Leftover buttermilk?  Try one of these recipes:

chocolate muffinsChocolate
Buttermilk Muffins
sconesCoconut White Choc
Buttermilk Scones
vanilla cupcake recipeVanilla
Nutmeg Cookie recipeNutmeg
Buttermilk Cookies
Buttermilk Muffins
buttermilk cookiesChocolate
Frosted Cookies


4.9 from 11 reviews
Vanilla Buttermilk Cookies
Cook time
Total time
Cakey buttermilk cookies with vanilla buttermilk icing.
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 4 dozen
  • ¾ cup softened butter
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ⅔ cup buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add buttermilk and mix well.
  2. Add salt, soda, and flour, and mix until well combined.
  3. Drop spoonfuls onto a baking sheet and bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes.
  4. For icing, combine all ingredients, mixing until smooth and creamy.
  5. Lightly frost cooled cookies, and sit out to let icing set for a few minutes.


Dark Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Dark Chocolate Whoopie Pies;  This chocolate whoopie pie recipe uses dark chocolate and vanilla frosting.  A delicious buttermilk chocolate whoopie pie!

Dark Chocolate Whoopie PiesWe spent two weeks searching for my son’s sparring gear.  He’s 8 years into his martial arts training, and it’s kind of a big deal for him to be without the sparring gear.

He thought he left it at the karate school, so we searched and asked, to no avail.  We thought it could be at the other location, so we searched and asked there, and again, nothing.

I was dreading spending the nearly $200 it was going to take to replace it.  I wanted to scream and yell.

Okay, I may have screamed and yelled.

Then… I walked into his bedroom for an unrelated purpose, and spotted the sparring gear in the corner.

Right where it goes.  *slow blink and long sigh*


I called to him.  “You’re never going to believe what I just found!”  I had him stand next to me and look around his room, and even while looking straight at it, it took him a couple minutes and a dozen wrong guesses before he saw the gear.

“How am I supposed to find it when it’s put away?” he asked.  Which made me want to find the side of his head with my open palm.


I bet he won’t have any trouble finding these dark chocolate cookies.  The kid loves chocolate.  And cookies.  This is why I deliberately made them on a day when I knew he would be gone all day.  This way, I get to eat one or two before he discovers them.

I made these with buttermilk, because… well… why not?  Buttermilk cookies are the very best.  Remember these Nutmeg Buttermilk Cookies from last Christmas?  I still dream about them.

Just like I dream that someday my kids be in charge of keeping track of their own stuff.

chocolate muffinsChocolate Buttermilk
buttermilk cookiesChocolate Frosted
chocolate cookie recipeSalted Dark
Chocolate Cookies

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Toasted Coconut Milkshake

Toasted Coconut is the key ingredient in this milkshake recipe; This is one of the best coconut dessert recipes I’ve tasted!

Toasted Coconut MilkshakeTrue story: My brother asked me to drive him to the airport, and I totally forgot about it.  In my defense, I was a little preoccupied with my own very serious issue, namely, that my car broke down.  I’ll spare you the details, but sufficeth to say, I spent a whole day without a car, and getting the car home involved a lot of smoke and embarrassment.

The whole day was a mess, to tell you the truth.  Between my afternoon responsibilities and the kids evening events, we had just 15 minutes to cook and eat dinner.

We had Cheerios.  Yeah, yeah, you’ve done it too, admit it.

Later that night, after the embarrassing car situation, and the worst-dinner-ever situation, and some kind of painful plain-talk with Robb about my life’s goals, I was feeling pretty nervous and uptight and overwhelmed.  And hungry.

Robb, always the sweetheart, loaded everyone in his car to take us out for a late meal.  Robb drives a small pickup truck, that really only holds two, so cramming all 5 of us in there was something of a joke.  We looked like a clown car.  It’s lucky my kids are skinny, and the doors have locks, that’s all I’ll say.  We laughed through our discomfort, all the way to the very nearby restaurant.


I have never been in this particular fast food establishment when I wasn’t the only person there.  I don’t really get it, either, because the food is good.  Nevertheless, it has a bit of a low-end reputation.  We ordered our food, and choose a large booth to balance out the feelings of togetherness we had during the drive there.

And that was the moment at which my brother sent me a text to be sure I was still okay to drive him to the airport.

I am SUCH a loser sometimes.  I told my brother he had to provide the car AND pick me up at the fast food joint.  We he got there, I made Robb promise to bring the rest of my sandwich home, and I walked out of the trashy restaurant in an oversized sweatshirt and wild hair, carrying a paper cup full of Diet Pepsi.

I made myself feel better by explaining to my brother that I had spared him the burden of having to envy me.

It’s one of the 7 deadly sins, yo.

At least I had a coconut milkshake and episodes of Arrested Development to end my day with.

toasted coconut milkshake

I may have told you of our family’s love of coconut a few {dozen} times.  {In fact, my last post was a coconut recipe, too.}  Not too long ago, we went to this fancy donut place in town, and Robb got a toasted coconut donut, which is one of the best things in the entire world.  To die for.

I wanted to capture that same flavor in this milkshake.  It’s crazy how much tastier coconut is when it is toasted.  Don’t skip the toasting, folks.  Trust me on this one.  I knew I hit a home run when I heard Robb shout from the other room, “Are you kidding me?!”  {That means it’s really good.}

By the way, I never did get to eat the rest of my sandwich.  Turns out The Fruitarian spilled his root beer all over everything, and my sandwich went in the trash.

Stupid Wednesday.

coconut dessert recipesCoconut Lime
Poke Cake
ice creamOrange Ice
Cream Freeze
coconut limeCoconut Lime
Sugar Cookies

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Vanilla Cupcakes

This is the best Vanilla Cupcake recipe, which includes buttermilk and sour cream.  This white cake recipe is dense, moist, and delicious, with a simple buttermilk icing.

Vanilla Cupcakes from JensFavoriteCookies.com - the best vanilla cupcake you'll ever have!My Hippie Chick daughter will choose vanilla over chocolate every time.  Leading me to believe that she was switched at birth.

She will even say things like, “This is too chocolatey,” as if there were such a thing.

I blame my husband.  Robb will buy vanilla bean ice cream 9 times out of 10.  The other 1 time will be chocolate chip, or starlight mint, which are nice, but sometimes I want chocolate with nuts and caramel and peanut butter and marshmallows and chunks of brownies.  That’s what I’m talking about.

Despite my outwardly bad attitude about this, I have to say that I love a good white cake.  {The key word being “good.”}  It’s a staple in our household.

Most cakes are too soft and airy and crumbly for my taste.  I hate it when I’m eating cake, and I feel like I just got some crumbs in my lungs, because I inhaled while the cake was near my face.

Give me something dense and fudgy.  Something you know you’re eating.  That’s my kind of cake.

Vanilla Cupcakes from JensFavoriteCookies.com - the best vanilla cupcake you'll ever have!

I actually love this recipe, because it’s super easy.  You start with a boxed white cake mix, and then you improve on it by adding your own concoction of creamy milk fats.

Mmmm…  milk fat.

And can we just talk about the elephant in the room for a minute?  As in, why are these Vanilla Cupcakes pink?  Funny story.

Well, not that funny.  More like pathethically sad.

The thing is, I had this *brilliant* idea about making them into an  ombre cupcake.  Something elegantly beautiful, like this pink cake or this blue-green-ish cupcake.  And then, the red food coloring came out a little fast, and before I knew it, the top half of the cupcakes was a WAY darker shade of pink than the bottom half.

*sob* *sniff*

Vanilla Cupcakes from JensFavoriteCookies.com - the best vanilla cupcake you'll ever have!

The idea is totally sound though.  You might have more luck if you try it yourself.

Or just color the whole cupcake.

Or don’t color it at all.  This cake is yum-tasty, colored or not.

One more word, this one about the totally boring-looking frosting.  I made this beautiful cream cheese frosting to pipe into beautiful tall swirls on the beautiful pink cupcakes, but I ended up scrapping it in favor of this simple buttermilk icing.  When I tasted the really delicious cream cheese frosting with the really delicious buttermilk and sour cream white cake, I was sad that the combination wasn’t mind blowing.  In fact, it wasn’t a very good combination at all.

Don’t ask me why.  I have no idea.

But this simple buttermilk icing was really delicious on the cupcakes, without distracting from the simple vanilla flavor.

The icing was the right decision, even if the red food coloring wasn’t.
Mom Blog to Money Blog

pudding cookies recipeVanilla Sprinkle
Rainbow Cake in a JarRainbow Cake
in a Jar
pink cookiesCherry Cookies &
Vanilla Frosting Dip

buttermilk-wide Continue reading “Vanilla Cupcakes” »

Cherry Cookies with Vanilla Frosting Dip

These pink cookies are so fun to dip in vanilla frosting.  The cookies get their pink color from maraschino cherries, and the frosting is made a little thin, to be the perfect consistency for dipping.

pink cookiesConfession time.  Sometimes I fall flat on my face in the kitchen.  Not literally, although that would be really funny.

I mean sometimes my cookies are not all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips.  Recently, I had this brilliant {I thought} idea to make cookies with sunflower seeds.  I even broke one of my cardinal rules and put applesauce in them.

Then I was reminded why those rules are there in the first place.  I mean, applesauce in a cookie?  What was I thinking?!

I took these really beautiful photos, with sunflowers in the background.  It was a little heartbreaking to scrap them, to be honest.

I’ll put them on my facebook page anyway, because that’s the kind of vain person I am.pink cookies

My decision to scrap the cookie altogether came when my kids came home from school.  They emptied their lunchboxes of napkins and leftover baggies, and the only thing left uneaten… was the cookies.

I was obviously thrilled.  Robb told me to just throw the whole box of cookies away, because no one is going to eat that sorry excuse for a cookie in this house.

I hate when he’s right.

I went back to the drawing board with this idea that’s been floating around my head for a while, this idea for cute pink heart-shaped cherry cookies.

vanilla frosting vanilla frosting

The funny thing about this whole story is that I like sunflower seeds.  They’re delicious.  But they make a terrible cookie.  Maraschino cherries, on the other hand?  Gag.  I won’t even eat the one on top of my chocolate milkshake.  Maybe one of these days McDonald’s will get the hint and quit giving them to me.

But… maraschino cherries make really delicious cookies.  No joke.

You should know, and I promise I am not exaggerating about this, my kids ate almost the entire batch of cookies within the space of an hour.  Robb had to fight to get one for himself.

I know after you eat these, you are going to consider making them at other times of the year besides just Valentines Day.  Besides, the cherries are far better this way than on top of a milkshake.


pink cookies

Cherry Cookies with Vanilla Frosting Dip

A cherry flavored sugar cookie with vanilla frosting.

Cook Time 9 minutes
Author Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies


For Cookies:

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 cups flour + more for flour

For Frosting Dip:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • about 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Remove cherries from jar, reserving juice, and roughly chop them.

  2. Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, cherries and cherry juice, and mix well.

    Add salt, soda, and baking powder, and mix well.

    Add flour and mix just until incorporated.

  3. Wrap dough in plastic and chill for 3-4 hours. Roll dough on floured surface, to ½" thickness, and cut small shapes.

  4. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes. (7 min for smaller cookies, and 9-10 for average size cookies) Place on a cooling rack and let cool before serving.

  5. For frosting, melt butter, and combine all ingredients, mixing until smooth. Adjust consistency by adding more milk (to thin) or more powdered sugar (to thicken).

Vanilla Christmas Sprinkle Cookies

pudding cookies recipeIt’s amazing what you see on the road sometimes.

Just the other day, I saw a woman knitting while waiting for her light to turn green.  I mean, I guess it’s not specifically illegal to knit while driving, but it does seem out of sync with the spirit of the law.

I have also seen some crazy bumper stickers.  I saw one car that had two ribbon stickers… stickers shaped like the pink breast cancer ribbon.  Of course, these had nothing to do with cancer.  One said, “Support Tattoos.”

As if it was a moral cause that needed some charitable funding.

I’m pretty sure tattoos support themselves.  Because those babies ain’t free.

The other ribbon was even more ridiculous.  “I Stop for Pedestrians,” it said.  Finally, someone is taking the moral high ground on this issue.

vanilla pudding cookie recipe

It gave me some ideas for new ribbon stickers.  Like, “I Pull Over for Emergency Vehicles” and “I Stop for Trains.”  I really want to create one that says, “I don’t stop in the middle of the road when I can’t make a lane change right away,” but I’m afraid it would be too long for one ribbon.

I’ll have to settle for “Support Sprinkles.”

Because sprinkles never hurt anyone.

sprinkle cookie recipesprinkle cookies

I really wanted some red and green sprinkles for this cookie, but alas, they were nowhere to be found.  (That’s code for I’m too lazy to shop at more than one store.)  I settled for green sugar crystals instead.

Did I ever tell you how much I love pudding cookies?  It’s such an easy way to give a cookie a wonderful soft texture and a fun flavor.  And Flavor + Texture + Simplicity = the trifecta of cookie making.  The sprinkles just add a fun this-is-a-party vibe.

Plus, they look super cute in a Christmas cookie tin! Continue reading “Vanilla Christmas Sprinkle Cookies” »

Vanilla Coconut Granola

granola recipeEvery year we take this ridiculous camping trip.

Well, it must not be that ridiculous, because we love it enough to do it every year.  It’s mostly ridiculous because it takes us more than 9 hours to drive there (one way!), a drive that normally involves car sickness, and once we get there, we tent camp, often in the cold and snow, in a campground that has the worst smelly no-flush outhouse toilets and no sinks or kitchen facilities.  AND we only stay two nights.

Some families have their reunions at Disneyland.  Or a big cabin on the beach.  But this family camps in the Big Horns.

Continue reading “Vanilla Coconut Granola” »

Orange Creamsicle Whoopie Pies

A recipe for a whoopie pie made with orange soda and vanilla cream.

Source: Bakaholic Mama‘s version had only three ingredients.  My version has just six.

Yield: about 20 whoopie pies

The great thing about making different cookies every week is that you never know what the process will bring.  Sometimes the cookies are fussy and complicated, using a lot of ingredients and a lot of time and dirtying a lot of dishes.  Sometimes they are so simple you almost forget you even made them.  Today’s cookie falls into that second category.  It’s basically so easy, you could do it in your sleep.  A trained monkey could make these cookies.  Heck, and un-trained monkey could make them!  You get the picture.

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Coconut Cream Cookies

Coconut Cream Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.comA recipe for a coconut cookie made with pudding mix, with vanilla frosting.

Yield: About 3 dozen cookies

Today, while driving my son to school, I said, “I need to bake today.  What kind of cookies should I make?”  He looked at me like I was crazy… like the answer was so completely obvious to everyone else.  “Didn’t you hear me last night?” he said.  “You should make coconut cream cookies!”  The theme continued when I returned home, and mentioned the conversation to my husband and daughter.  They both agreed that coconut cream sounded great.  I wondered aloud how I would achieve such a feat, having never heard of a cookie like it.  My daughter replied very matter of factly, “Just make coconut cream pie, and then turn it into a cookie.”

Duh, mom.

I’ve been working on getting my site re-designed.  It was just time for an upgrade.  While my designer is slaving away on my site design, I figured it was as good an excuse as any to give my home office a re-design too.  Not really a re-design, per se.   More like… a cleaning.  My office is a complete disaster area.  It’s a pig sty.  It looks like an episode of “Hoarders.”  I freely admit it.  My goal is to have my office working like a well-oiled machine by the time I get my blog working like a well-oiled machine.  So, like 1-2 weeks from now.  And trust me, I’m going to need all that time.

Coconut Cream Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.com

I’m well practiced in the fine art of procrastination.  For instance, I have a goal to clean some of the garbage out of the office today, but I’m spending my time baking Coconut Cream Cookies.  And frosting them.  And writing about baking and frosting them.  And writing about not doing my cleaning.

I think I need a Diet Coke.

See what I mean?

Coconut Cream Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.com

I’ve decided to use this week’s cookie as my office-cleaning inspiration.  Yeah, I know it sounds weird.  The cookie is simple, clean, white.  It’s unfettered, unspotted, and un-covered-in-chocolate.  I want my office to be as beautiful and simple as this cookie.  Wish me luck.

I actually did take my daughters advice.  Sort of.  I used coconut cream pudding mix to create these cookies.  The last time I made cookies with pudding in them, they were extremely well-received.  They are definitely one of my more popular cookies around this house.  I have a feeling this version will be very well received, too.

Want more?  Check out these coconut favorites!

coconut-fudge-cookie-bars-4Coconut Fudge
Cookie Bars
toasted-coconut-popcorn-5Toasted Coconut
toasted-coconut-milkshake-3Toasted Coconut

Coconut Cream Cookies
Cook time
Total time
A coconut cookie made with pudding mix and covered in vanilla frosting
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 3 dozen
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 (3 oz.) box coconut cream pudding mix
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 4 T. butter, softened
  • 2 T. milk
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. Beat butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  2. Add pudding mix, soda, and flour, and mix until just combined.
  3. Add coconut and mix just enough to incorporate.
  4. Drop scoops onto baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 min.
  6. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Adjust consistency by adding more powdered sugar or milk.
  7. Frost cooled cookies


Oatmeal Cream Pies

A recipe for chewy oatmeal cookies sandwiched with a vanilla marshmallow frosting.

Source:  Craving Chronicles, a blog where I’ve found several recipes I want to try.

Yield: about 2 dozen pies

**** UPDATE!!  The updated version of this post can be found HERE!! ****

Do you ever buy those Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies?  I do.  I try not to, because I have a tendency to eat so many of them, but I do.  There’s something about a plain oatmeal cookie that is just divine.  There’s a local bread company here that is heaven to a carb-oholic.  I sometimes buy their plain oatmeal cookies.  They are simple, classic, wonderfully tasty… and humongous.  When I came across Theresa’s Oatmeal Cream Pie recipe, I remembered these two favorites and knew I could not go wrong adding this one to my recipe book.

The cookie recipe itself is nothing surprising, your basic sugar, flour, eggs, kind of thing.   I had my first vision of the drool-on-yourself tastiness when I was *ahem* poison-checking the dough.  It tasted much better than I imagined it would.  YUM.  I used my cookie scoop to make them all the same size, which is especially nice when you are going to sandwich the cookies together.  Once the first pan-full was in the oven, I got right to work on the filling, because I wanted to taste these babies as soon as humanly possible.

Continue reading “Oatmeal Cream Pies” »

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

A recipe for a cakey orange flavored cookie with vanilla frosting, reminiscent of the flavors in an orange creamsicle.

Source:  Myself, for the first time ever.

Yield: about 3 dozen cookies

Testing cookies is fun, but I decided to try my hand at creating a recipe myself.  I think I did a passable job, for my first try.  To be honest, I just took another recipe and modified it a little, but I guess that’s as good a place to start as any.

I wanted a cookie that tasted like an orange creamsicle, all orangey and wonderful with a shot of vanilla creaminess on the inside.  So, naturally, I began with one of my favorite cookie ingredients ever: buttermilk.  Buttermilk makes such tasty cookies!  I followed that up with some orange extract I bought at the local supermarket.  I suppose if I was a real baker, I would use actual oranges or something, but honestly, I was worried about the acidity of the citrus fruit.  Baking cookies is like doing chemistry, after all.

Continue reading “Orange Creamsicle Cookies” »