In the world of cookies, few treats embody the essence of simplicity and elegance as well as vanilla shortbread. With its rich, buttery flavour and delicate crumbly texture, vanilla shortbread is a timeless classic that’s perfect for any occasion. In this blog post, we’ll take you through the process of creating this delightful delicacy, which combines just a handful of high-quality ingredients to produce a cookie that’s pure, comforting, and utterly irresistible.
For this delightful Vanilla Shortbread recipe, you’ll need:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean (seeds scraped)
- A pinch of salt (optional)
- Preheat Your Oven: Begin by preheating your oven to 325°F (160°C). Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Cream the Butter and Sugar: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. This usually takes about 2-3 minutes of mixing with an electric mixer.
- Add the Vanilla: Incorporate the pure vanilla extract or the scraped seeds from the vanilla bean into the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until well combined.
- Incorporate Dry Ingredients: Gradually add the all-purpose flour (and a pinch of salt if you’re using it) to the mixture. Mix until the dough just comes together. Be careful not to overmix; you want a crumbly, sandy texture.
- Shape the Dough: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead it a few times until it forms a cohesive ball.
- Form the Cookies: Roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut out your desired shapes. Alternatively, you can form the dough into a log, chill it, and then slice it into rounds for a more traditional shortbread look.
- Bake to Perfection: Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for approximately 15-18 minutes, or until the edges become slightly firm and they no longer look wet on top.
- Cool and Enjoy: Remove the vanilla shortbread cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Vanilla shortbread is the epitome of cookie elegance—a harmonious blend of buttery richness and fragrant vanilla that’s a pleasure to savour. Whether you pair them with a cup of tea, share them with friends, or give them as a thoughtful gift, these cookies are a testament to the beauty of simplicity in baking.
So, gather your ingredients and embark on a journey to create these classic treats. Experience the joy of homemade vanilla shortbread, and savour each crumbly, flavourful bite. It’s a timeless delight that’s sure to become a cherished part of your baking repertoire.