I made some super fantastic cookies for my mom on her birthday.
The vanilla bean shortbread is great on it’s own or can be doctored up in many ways. You can opt out of the vanilla bean part and just use the vanilla extract, but you would be missing out on a really awesome taste.I made a huge batch and split it in half, adding orange zest and juice to one of the halves. I would also recommend a shot of espresso or a packet or two of Starbucks via. I think they make a Blonde roast that is far less bitter than the regular roast.
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- Interior scrapings of 1 split vanilla bean
- 3-4 cups flour depending on moisture and altitude
- ** for orange version**
- 3 teaspoons finely grated fresh orange zest
- Juice of ½ orange
- Juice of ½ lemon
In a mixer or with electric beaters mix butter, sugar and salt until creamy.
Continue mixing; add the egg yolks one at a time, then add the vanilla extract and scrapings from the vanilla bean, orange zest and citrus juice.
Reduce speed on mixer and add flour one cup at a time, allowing flour to incorporate before adding more. Add flour until the dough starts to look dry, but still soft.
Remove dough from mixer, roll into a log and wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat oven to 375°F and unwrap dough. Slice the dough to create rounds about ¼ to ½ inch thick and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake until cookies look dry and lightly golden.