Here we are at week 7 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies. I can’t believe that the holidays are getting so close! This is the time of year I am looking for cookies that can stand up to travel. Whether they are going to holiday parties, cookie exchanges, or even being shipped to someone, not all cookies can survive being transported. These cookies are certainly sturdy enough to make the trip, and stay fresh for days too. Making these with vanilla beans instead of just extract really add something special. These cookies would work equally well with tea if you had unexpected visitors, or putting out during an elegant holiday party.
Vanilla bean shortbread
Slightly adapted from Bake Your Day
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean (see note below) 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, sift the flour and salt together. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add the seeds from the vanilla bean and the vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add the flour/salt mixture in slowly; I added it in a couple of batches, and mix until fully incorporated.
Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap. Turn the dough out onto the plastic and wrap the dough. Roll into a log, about 2 inches in diameter, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the log from the refrigerator and slice into 1/4-inch slices. Place on the baking sheet with about 1/4-inch between each cookie. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until the edges just start to brown.
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Makes about 3 dozen small cookies.