I love shortbread cookies, especially at Christmastime. As a kid, my Poppy (grandfather), would buy those large red tins of Danish shortbread that were stacked with individual buttery cookies inside cupcake liners. When I opened the tin, a waft of butter would hit my nose with pure delight, anticipating that crunchy, melt-in-my-mouth sensation that was about to happen.
Over the years, our good family friends shared their homemade shortbread cookies with us around the holidays, a recipe originally created by their grandparents in Maine. The coloring of these shortbread cookies was much lighter and they had the most delicate crumb of any cookie I’ve ever eaten – what a treat.
I have tried several recipes of my own over the years, but this classic shortbread dipped in a vanilla bean glaze has to be a favorite of mine. The edges are crispy and you can smell the butter as you bring it closer to your mouth. I just love the tender crumb and it almost breaks apart before you even eat it – now that’s a good cookie.
8 ounces butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
Vanilla Bean Glaze
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons half & half
2 teaspoons vanilla paste
sprinkles for the top, optional
(Makes about 30)
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, mix butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes, scrape down sides of bowl. Add vanilla paste and continue to mix for 2 minutes. Add flour and cornstarch and mix on low for 1 minute, until just combined. Remove and place on plastic wrap. Press into a disc shape and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and let rest for 20 minutes, or until soft enough to roll out. Roll out dough onto lightly floured- dusted counter and cut out into 3-inch squares or circles. Place cookies on sheet pan and place in refrigerator for 10 minutes before baking.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until edges just begin to turn light brown. Remove and let cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all Glaze ingredients. Dip each cookie top into glaze and place on a wire rack. Continue to dip all cookies. Top with sprinkles, if desired. Place in refrigerator to set up before serving. Enjoy!