Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vanilla Shortbread Cookies

Here in the Chicagoland area we have had the first few days of fall.  Cool days cold nights and it has been downright blustery!  To me the beginning of Fall is really the beginning of baking season.  I don't know if any of you remember but in April I made a big deal of running around and finding fresh vanilla beans to make my own Vanilla extract.  So if you want to break it down I spent $21.00 and 7 months to make a six ounce bottle of Vanilla extract.

Was it worth it? you ask.  I think that I can safely say YES! Thank you Fork one!  What I did was go to Whole Foods and pick up some Vanilla beans then put them it a cute little bottle of vodka and let them sit in my cupboard since April 29.  You can see how much it has cured over the months...

Today I pulled it out of the cupboard and made shortbread cookies.  I wanted to have the simplest recipe possible so that I could taste my hand made Vanilla.

Shortbread cookies:

1 cup all purpose Flour
2 TBS corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup + 2 TBS Brown Sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 TBS granulated sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract

Sift together the first 3 ingredients.  In another bowl mix Brown Sugar, Butter, Sugar and Vanilla.  Beat until well blended.  Then add the dry ingredients a little at a time beating until smooth.  Once it is well blended roll into a log about 6 inches long, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Before you take it out preheat an oven to 325 then cut the cookies about 1/4 inch thick and put on the baking sheet.  Bake for about 18-10 minutes, rotate the pan at least a couple of times.

How did it work out?  In a word great!  The cookies were a great showcase for the ingredients although I may have tasted the butter a little more than the Vanilla I can't say that is all bad.


  1. Impressive! And I can't think of a better way to showcase it than in a simple, buttery cookie.

  2. Can I please have some? I imagine that this was a perfect way to enjoy your homemade vanilla extract. Nothing sounds better than a cup of tea and one of these delightful cookies. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Very cool Bryan, I wouldn't mind one of those short breads right about now. You are so cutting edge.....I love it, homemade vanilla extract!