Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies are perfect for when you want something sweet but not something over the top indulgent. They're not dripping in chocolate, smothered with sugar, covered with frosting, or drizzled with caramel. Instead, these lovely cookies are subtle and sweet. Perfect for an afternoon treat or something to accompany your cup of tea or coffee.
They are super simple to make too. Chances are you already for most of the ingredients already in your fridge and pantry. Butter, sugar, a little brown sugar, vanilla bean paste and flour. If you don't have vanilla bean paste you can easily use regular vanilla extract. I did get a little fancy and rolled the dough with demerara sugar - I had some left over from when I made these super popular cookies.
I love the color and slight crunch that the demerara sugar adds to the outsides of these cookies. It's the perfect compliment to the soft, melt in you mouth center.
A few things to mention before you bake these cookies:
- The dough may have a sticky or crumbly texture. After you make the cookie dough I suggest you dump the dough onto some plastic wrap and work the dough with your hands to shape it into a log. I made my log about 10 inches long and about 3 or 4 inches wide. These measurements do not have to be exact so if your log comes out a little short, a little longer that's fine. It may just affect how many cookies you get when you cut the log into slices.
- Chill the dough. This step cannot be skipped. I chilled my dough over night in the refrigerator but if you leave the dough in the refrigerator for a couple of hours that should do the trick. You want the dough to be really firm before you slice the cookies.
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 large egg beaten
- demerara sugar for rolling
- In a large bowl combine the butter and both sugars, beat together using a handheld mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the vanilla bean paste and almond extract, continue mixing. Slowly add in the flour and continue mixing until everything is combined. Dump the cookie dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and work the dough with your hands to form a log. My log measured about 10 inches long and 3 to 4 inches wide but you don't have to have those measurements specifically, the log can be a little shorter or a little longer.
- Cover the log with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
- Preheat oven the 350 degrees. Unwrap the log and brush the log with the beaten egg, avoiding the 2 flat ends. Roll the log in demerara sugar. Use a sharp kitchen knife to slice ½ inch slices of cookies. Place cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 10 minutes.
- Allow cookies to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.