vanilla bean shortbread cookies

September 16, 2012

These cookies are so simple and easy, yet taste so decadent. This recipe came from Martha Stewart's cookbook, Martha Stewart's Cookies.

I mostly followed the recipe, but did make a couple changes.

2 cups flour
1/4 generous teaspoons course sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 vanilla bean - cut in half with seeds scraped out.

You can see the flecks of vanilla.
  • Sift together flour and salt. Set aside. 
  • In a mixing bowl, place butter and mix on medium to high speed with the paddle attachment. Mix until fluffy, about 5 minutes. 
  • Slowly add confectioner's sugar and beat on medium-high until fluffy. Martha says 2 minutes, I did it for 3-4. 
  • Decrease mixer speed to low and add vanilla bean scrapings. Mix until well incorporated.
  • Add sifted flour all at once (I love when you don't have to gradually add something, just throw it all in!). Mix until combined. 
  • Martha made wedges in her cookbook, but I opted for cookies. Take the dough ball and place on some plastic wrap. Wrap the plastic over the dough and fashion it into a log about 2 inches in diameter. Close the ends and chill for at least 20 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 
  • After dough has chilled, unwrap and cut into circles ~ 1/4 inch thick. Poke with a fork. Place on cookie sheet and bake for about 30-35 minutes.* 
*My oven tends to cook things fast so I only need a short cooking time, although I have seen many recipes for shortbread that suggest much longer cooking times. This part you will have to judge for yourself and check the cookies periodically.