The Speckled Palate
December 16, 2013

Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies

Decadent shortbread is studded with vanilla bean caviar and topped with a vanilla bean glaze as a Christmastime treat. These Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies with a Vanilla Bean Glaze cookies taste like the holidays in a single bite!

Decadent shortbread is studded with vanilla bean caviar and topped with a Vanilla Bean Glaze as a Christmastime treat. These Christmas cookies taste like the holidays in a single bite!

YOU GUYS.

I can’t get enough of vanilla beans, and I am slowly whittling down my supply of the exotic seasoning. (Because OF COURSE I purchased the 30-pack of Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans when I initially set out to start making all the recipes with fresh vanilla beans.)

There. Whew. I finally admitted it out loud.

 

Today, I think you should join in on this love of vanilla beans because this cookie recipe, which happens to be the cookie recipe I am kicking off Christmas Cookie Week 2013 with, is solid.

And by solid, I mean absolutely delicious and something that you will crave when you bake several dozen of these and proceed to give all but a few away to your neighbors because you absolutely do NOT need any cookies in the house while you’re iced/snowed in one weekend.

True story.

Christmas Cookie Week 2013: Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies with a Vanilla Bean Glaze // The Speckled Palate

So. Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies topped with a Vanilla Bean Glaze.

It sounds decadent… because it is. But there is something so comforting and home-y in just one of these cookies that really sings of the holidays and years past to me… and everyone we shared them with was a fan, too.

Decadent shortbread is studded with vanilla bean caviar and topped with a vanilla bean glaze as a Christmastime treat. These Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies with a Vanilla Bean Glaze cookies taste like the holidays in a single bite!

In fact, even Lucy Belle was a fan.

She clearly thought I baked these cookies for her… then she attempted to snatch the top cookie off the pile before I photographed them because OBVIOUSLY I were setting up the cookies and milk for her pleasure. (In her defense, I was capturing them from the floor because that’s where the best light in our house was at the time the cookies were cooled enough to glaze and photograph, but still.)

When she learned they were not hers, she was a grump and laid down about five feet away from where I was making the images, watching every move I made like a hawk just in case I changed my mind.

Decadent shortbread is studded with vanilla bean caviar and topped with a vanilla bean glaze as a Christmastime treat. These Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies with a Vanilla Bean Glaze cookies taste like the holidays in a single bite!

Here’s how you can make your own:

5.0 from 2 reviews
Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies with Vanilla Bean Glaze
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Decadent shortbread is studded with vanilla bean caviar and topped with a vanilla bean glaze as a Christmastime treat. These Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies with a Vanilla Bean Glaze cookies taste like the holidays in a single bite!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Makes: 3 dozen cookies
Ingredients
Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split (use about ¾ the caviar, leaving some for the glaze)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup milk (skim or non-dairy OK)
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Vanilla Bean Glaze
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ caviar from split vanilla bean (from above)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk (skim or non-dairy OK)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy using a hand (or stand) mixer.
  2. Add the caviar from the split vanilla bean, vanilla extract and milk. Combine with the butter and sugar mixture until smooth and well incorporated.
  3. Sift together the flour and salt, then add to the wet ingredients, mixing until the batter just comes together. (Mine was a little bit crumbly, and that's OK. To check and make sure that yours will form into balls for the next step, just grab a little piece of the dough and press it together in your hand. If it forms a ball without falling apart, you're good to go. If it doesn't, add an additional tablespoon of milk until it does this.)
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  5. While the dough is chilling, make the Glaze.
  6. Combine the powdered sugar, the rest of the caviar from the vanilla bean, the vanilla extract and milk in a smaller bowl, whisking until smooth. Set aside.
  7. Once your dough has finished chilling, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  8. On a parchment-paper lined baking sheet, scoop out 1" rounds of the dough, placing evenly on the baking sheet. Using a fork, flatten the tops of the cookies using criss-cross marks.
  9. Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes (or until slightly browned and crisp).
  10. Let cool on a wire rack, then drizzle with the glaze and enjoy!

Decadent shortbread is studded with vanilla bean caviar and topped with a vanilla bean glaze as a Christmastime treat. These Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies with a Vanilla Bean Glaze cookies taste like the holidays in a single bite!

Are you a shortbread fan this time of year? Are you currently obsessing over a certain ingredient?

 

The Speckled Palate Christmas Cookie Week 2013

Want to join in on this celebration of butter, sugar, flour and holiday ingredients? Pop on over to the intro post to Christmas Cookie Week 2013 to get the scoop, and I’ll see y’all back here tomorrow for yet another new Christmas cookie recipe!

19 Comments

  1. Tara Simone

    These look so yummy and I love love LOVE vanilla bean!

    • Erin

      Thanks so much, Tara! Glad you’re with me on the vanilla bean thing. They just add SO MUCH flavor to everything!

  2. Pamela @ Still Dating My Spouse

    Your pictures are amazing. I have never had vanilla bean but your pictures make me want to try it. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Erin

      Aww. Thank you so much, Pamela. You’re too sweet… and I hope you get to try vanilla bean sometime soon because it just adds SO much flavor to baked goods.

    • Erin

      Thanks so much! And pssh. Girl, everything I know in the kitchen and with cooking has been self-taught (or guided along by friends/family members and cookbooks.) You can do it, too! And these cookies are divine, so I hope you give them a go!

  3. Katherine

    Is it just me, or do vanilla beans make something sweet seem that much more special and a bit fancy, even? Love this recipe, as well as the glaze. I’m a huge fan of Christmas cookies that are taken to the next level taste-wise but are still elegant and simple in their construction. These look wintry, warm, and comforting, like a perfect holiday cookie should.

    • Erin

      Katherine, You’ve just hit the nail on the head about vanilla beans, girl. They really do make something sweet seem just a little more fancy and decadent. And like you, I’m a fan of cookies that are elegant, simple but a little elevated, taste-wise. Glad we’re in the same boat… and thanks! Here’s to consuming several perfect holiday cookies this season!

  4. Kathy

    These look amazing Erin! I can’t wait to try them. I love reading your posts too, you have such a cute personality. =)

    • Erin

      Thank you, Kathy! You’re too sweet for stopping by, wanting to make the cookies AND leaving such a lovely compliment!

  5. Jayne

    Erin! These are gorgeous! I love fresh vanilla beans too. The floral smoky accents can’t be replicated by extracts. And I love how your cookies are so white, making those little flecks of vanilla caviar so prominent. Pretty. I have a small stash of beans left from an impulse bulk purchase a few years ago. I’ll dunk some into this for sure. 😉

    • Erin

      Jayne! Thank you, ma’am! You’re right about the accents of fresh vanilla beans not being able to be replicated in extracts… though I’ve currently got a homemade extract brewing using some of those fresh beans because I was all, “Why not?”

      Glad that I’m not alone in my love of fresh vanilla beans and that you also hoard some of these delightful floral and smoky beans for special baking, too. When you make these, let me know what you think about ’em!

    • Erin

      Thanks so much, Aleshea! I don’t normally make shortbread because I’m SUCH a cookie monster, but these were too good to NOT make, ya know?

  6. Alli

    These seem like they would ship well, right? OK, my address in New York is…

    • Erin

      Hahaha. Love it, Alli! And I bet they really WOULD ship well… though there are none left here for me to send you. Wamp wamp.

      Clearly, I need to work this out better for next time.

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