THE BEST VANILLA BEAN SHORTBREAD — These rich, buttery shortbread bars are infused with real vanilla flavor, and finished with a sprinkling of sugar for added texture and sparkle. A holiday classic!
You guys–shortbread! It can either be really good or really bad, and this Vanilla Bean Shortbread is really, really good. As long as you follow the ingredient list and instructions, that is.
Traditional shortbread only contains three basic ingredients–butter, sugar and flour. Depending on what kind of butter you’re using, you may also include a pinch of salt.
Typically vanilla isn’t found in classic shortbread recipes, but since this is vanilla bean shortbread, it’s obviously been included here. Although I honestly like to add a splash of vanilla to any shortbread cookie recipe.
I use vanilla bean powder in this recipe, which give the shortbread the “spotted” appearance. You can also use regular vanilla if that’s what you have. But if you can find vanilla bean powder, I highly recommend it.
It adds a notable, deep vanilla flavor that won’t cook out during baking like regular vanilla does. It can be a bit expensive, but I don’t mind splurging at the holidays, and I promise, it’s totally worth it.
Not to mention, shortbread is made with such bland ingredients, you really do want to use the best of everything. This is especially important when it comes to the butter and the vanilla.
I’m not really a food snob, but when it comes to shortbread, I always splurge on Kerry Gold butter and the best vanilla bean powder I can find.
But if fancy butter and vanilla aren’t your thing, you’re still going to love this simple but delicious recipe. There are many ways to shape shortbread, but I find a simple bar-like cookie is easiest and tastes best.
I also like to sprinkle my shortbread with some sparkling sugar when it comes out of the oven for some extra sparkle. Regular sugar and powdered sugar also work great. And finally, cut your shortbread while it’s still warm–it will be so much easier to re-cut and serve when it’s cool.
If you still don’t have an amazing shortbread recipe in your collection, this Best Vanilla Bean Shortbread recipe may just become your go-to for perfect shortbread any time of year.
Be sure to save this recipe for The Best Vanilla Bean Shortbread to your favorite Pinterest board for later.
Here’s what you’ll need to make The Best Vanilla Bean Shortbread
- Vanilla bean powder
- Sparkling sugar (optional)
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (or 1 tsp. vanilla)
- 1 cup cold butter, cubed
- Sparkling sugar, for dusting (optional)
- Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8 or 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, salt and vanilla bean powder. Add the butter and pulse until fine crumbs form.
- Pulse a few more times until some of the crumbs come together. Do not over process. The dough will be crumbly.
- Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan. Bake until golden, 40-50 minutes (depending on pan size). Transfer to a wire rack and cut into bars while still warm. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
- When cooled, remove shortbread from pan and recut before serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 257Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 210mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 2g
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Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from Alexandra Cooks