- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped, pod reserved for another use
- 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling
- Water, for brushing
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat sugars and vanilla seeds with a mixer on medium speed for 1 minute. Add butter; beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; beat until well combined.
- Using a 2-inch ice cream scoop (3 tablespoons), drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing
2 inches apart (no more than 4 cookies per sheet).
- Flatten cookies slightly using the palm of your hand; sprinkle with sanding sugar. Lightly brush tops of cookies with water using a pastry brush. Sprinkle with sanding sugar again.
- Bake until light golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire racks, and let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks, and let cool completely.
Sugar cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.