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Blog

Vanilla Shortbread

Patricia Reitz

Vanilla Shortbread - ButterYum

Vanilla Shortbread - ButterYum

Today I have a very special cookie to share with you.  A few weeks ago, my dear friend Kim from The Finer Cookie asked if I would consider doing a guest post to celebrate her blog's 1st anniversary.  Kim is an incredibly talented blogger, author, baker, and photographer and I was extremely flattered she asked.  

Kim's blog already has many wonderful cookie recipes so it took me a while to decide which recipe I wanted to add.  Since Kim lives in Canada, my first thought was to make something maple, then I thought maybe something French, but in the end I chose to make these simple yet elegant little shortbread cookies.  Not because shortbread is particularly Canadian, but because the cookie press I used to make them is from Canada.  

Let me show you how I made them, then head over to check out Kim's blog.

To begin, you'll need a stand mixer fitted with the flat paddle or BeaterBlade attachment.  If you use the paddle attachment, you'll have to occasionally scrape the the sides of the bowl.  Not necessary if you use a BeaterBlade.

The first thing we're going to do is cream room temperature unsalted butter, granulated sugar, fine salt, and pure vanilla extract.

Note how yellow the butter is before mixing.

Here we are after about 1 minute.  The color of the butter has lightened a bit.

Here we are after creaming the butter mixture for 2 minutes.  You can see how much lighter the color is now.  

Now it's time to add the flour.

To prevent a cloud of flour dust from flying out of the bowl, I drape a kitchen towel over the mixer.  Plastic wrap works well too.

When all the flour is incorporated and the cookie dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, it's time to move to the next step.

That step is portioning out the cookie dough.  I use a level #50 scoop (about 1 tablespoon) so each cookie ends up being exactly the same size. 

Using the warmth of your hands, roll each portion of dough into a smooth ball.

Dip a cookie press in granulated sugar.  This press makes the most beautiful design ( not sure if they're still available, but I got mine here - call or send an email).

Place the ball of cookie dough on a unlined half sheet pan and press.  

If you don't have a cookie press, you can use a glass like this one that has a decorative design on the bottom.  

Dip the glass in sugar between presses.

Different, but still very pretty.  If the mood strikes, feel free to sprinkle extra sugar on the cookies after their pressed.  

Now it's time to chill the pressed cookie dough for at least 15 minutes before baking.  This step is the key to maintaining that lovely shape during baking. 

Vanilla Shortbread Cookie Recipe WITH PHOTOS

Bake cookies in preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Cool for several minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.  Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Vanilla Shortbread

makes 30 cookies

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a BeaterBlade, cream butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy.  
  3. On low speed, add flour and mix just until no dry flour remains.
  4. Use a #50 scoop to portion dough evenly; roll into balls.
  5. Place dough balls on an unlined half sheet pan.
  6. Press balls with cookie stamp or the bottom of a glass.
  7. Bake in center of preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until they just begin to turn golden around the edges.
  8. Cool completely on rack before storing in an airtight container.
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