Vanilla Bean Balloon Cookies are celebration cookies filled with hope, strength, and love. Decorate the cookies in colors to match your celebrations of birthdays, new babies, graduations, or special events. These particular Vanilla Bean Balloon Cookies are decorated in “breast cancer awareness pink”, in celebration of my friends Lisa and Diane; amazing, vibrant, caring women who are breast cancer survivors. I am so thankful that Lisa and Diane are part of my life.
A few weeks ago, my family and I participated in the St. Louis Komen Race for the Cure, a summer tradition for us. The 1K or 5K course meanders up and down the streets of downtown St. Louis. My husband and I walk. My daughter (and my son, when he is in town) run. At any pace, the experience is awe inspiring. Just being in the massive crowd, you become a part of something special. The fervently shared hope for a cure is a powerful unifying force.
Floating above the participants, pink balloons celebrate the women who have fought/or are fighting breast cancer. Walkers carry single balloons. Booths are decorated with balloon bunches. A huge pink balloon arch frames the race finish line. Balloons are cheerful and festive. They bring uplifting optimism and buoyancy to the dream of a breast cancer cure.
These pink Vanilla Bean Balloon Cookies celebrate life and the people who make it so special. They are soft, cake-like cookies with a sugary coating crunch. Vanilla bean paste and white chocolate chips fill the dough with flavor. I created cookie pop balloons by inserting lollipop sticks before baking, then adding ribbon “balloon strings”.
With or without sticks, Vanilla Bean Balloon Cookies add sparkle and a smile to any occasion.This desert safe recipe works well for summer care packages. I have plans to turn these into birthday balloon cookies for Paratrooper Derik’s birthday care package next month!
My post and these Vanilla Bean Balloon Cookies were delayed by a small mishap at the dog park. A jubilant puppy (albeit a 90 pound huge puppy) accidentally bumped into me while racing around the park. I flew a bit and landed wrong, breaking my left ankle. I have never been in a cast before. I don’t recommend it. The four weeks in a non-weight bearing cast have not been conducive to moving about baking. I have missed quite a few self-imposed deadlines. My husband had to step into my Super Mom role and flew to Chicago to help my son move and drive my car back to St. Louis. Weeds have turned my garden into a jungle, perfect cover for the bunnies growing fat on my hostas. Pax, no longer able to use up calories and excess energy at the dog park, is literally bouncing off the walls. I thank you for your patience as I count down the days toward getting the cast replaced by a walking boot in which I hope to be less sedentary.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup butter-flavored vegetable shortening (Crisco)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg + 1 yolk
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon vanilla paste, inside of 1 vanilla bean, or vanilla extract
- ½ cup white chocolate chips
- 1 cup decorating sugar or sprinkles
- 12 lollipop sticks (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, microwave vegetable shortening until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat melted vegetable shortening and sugar until combined, about 2-3 minutes.
- Mix in the egg and egg yolk, water, and vanilla.
- Reduce speed of mixer and slowly add dry ingredients until just combined. Over-mixing will produce a less tender cookie.
- Use a large cookie scoop, or 2 rounded tablespoons, to portion out 2” balls of dough. Roll the balls in decorating sugar or sprinkles.
- If making cookies on sticks, gently insert 1” of a lollipop stick into one side of the dough ball.
- Place coated dough balls, or balls on sticks, 2” apart on prepared cookie sheet. Six cookies on sticks fit onto one cookie sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Tops of cookies will not darken. Bottoms of cookies will have just begun to turn golden brown.
- Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Be especially careful to allow cookies on sticks to cool and firm up before transferring.
- These cookies are soft and cake-like. They will remain soft for about 2 weeks if stored at room temperature in an airtight container.