- about 30 threads of saffron (to yield 1/8 teaspoon ground saffron)
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, at room temperature
for about 18 cookies
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Crush the saffron threads with a mortar and pestle until powdery or finely mince the saffron.
Combine the vanilla seeds, milk, and saffron in a small microwavable bowl, and microwave just until the milk is hot, 20 to 30 seconds. Cover and let steep for about 10 minutes; the milk should have a sunny yellow color.
Sift the flour and baking soda into a medium bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on low speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar, honey, and salt and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine the milk mixture, egg, and vanilla extract and whisk vigorously until well blended. With the mixer on medium speed, add the egg mixture very slowly, in a steady stream, and mix until well-incorporated and very smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix on medium speed for 30 more seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the flour mixture. Mix on low speed just until uniform in texture.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll portions of the dough into balls, and place them on the baking sheet, spacing them at least 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden but not too dark, rotating the pan midway through the baking time. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 10 minutes before removing.