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!
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.
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.
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.
Here’s how you can make your own:
- 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
- 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)
- In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy using a hand (or stand) mixer.
- Add the caviar from the split vanilla bean, vanilla extract and milk. Combine with the butter and sugar mixture until smooth and well incorporated.
- 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.)
- Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- While the dough is chilling, make the Glaze.
- 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.
- Once your dough has finished chilling, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- 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.
- Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes (or until slightly browned and crisp).
- Let cool on a wire rack, then drizzle with the glaze and enjoy!
Are you a shortbread fan this time of year? Are you currently obsessing over a certain ingredient?
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!