Vanilla Polka Dots

Recipe by Dorie Greenspan

Buttery vanilla sugar cookie dough gets rolled into balls, coated with crunchy pearl sugar, and baked. This lovely cookie, from Dorie Greenspan's book, Dorie's Cookies, is pretty in a tea-in-the-English-countryside kind of way. 

20 mins
18 to 20 mins
40 mins
42 to 48 cookies
Vanilla Polka Dots - select to zoom
Vanilla Polka Dots - select to zoom
Vanilla Polka Dots - select to zoom


Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line two baking sheets with parchment.

  2. Put the pearl sugar in a small bowl. Wrap the base of a flat-bottomed jar or glass in plastic wrap or reusable wrap.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and salt together at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the egg white, followed by the vanilla.

  4. Add the flour in three additions, beating only until it's almost incorporated each time before adding more. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as you go.

  5. Scoop the dough by the heaping teaspoon (a teaspoon cookie scoop works well here) and roll into balls. Roll each ball in pearl sugar and place on the baking sheet, 2" apart.

  6. Gently press each cookie down with the plastic-wrapped jar to flatten slightly.

  7. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the vanilla cookies are golden brown around the edges and on the bottom. Remove from the oven and cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to finish cooling completely.

  8. Store leftover Vanilla Polka Dots at room temperature for a week or so; freeze for longer storage.