Vanilla Bean Shortbread Tea Cookies

Vanilla Bean Shortbread Tea Cookies are a simple, buttery, and utterly delicious cookie perfect for any occasion.

Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies

If you’re looking for a soft spoken, elegant cookie to pair with coffee or tea, look no further. These demure cookies speak in the hushed tones of floral vanilla bean, they quietly crunch and then melt away in your mouth.

After you eat one or two, you’ll wonder why you’d ever need anything else in a cookie.

I made them for the book group ladies, to balance out the decadent chocolate truffles and Belgian Chocolate Cake.  I didn’t want to be responsible for anyone going into shock from chocolate overload.

Vanilla Bean Shortbread Tea Cookies

Yield: makes approximately 2 dozen

Vanilla Bean Shortbread Tea Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, (2 sticks) at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. Cream the sugar and butter together with the vanilla bean seeds. Blend in the flour and vanilla extract. Keep stirring until the dough comes together.
  3. Turn the soft dough out onto a floured surface and for into two disks, like for pie dough. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about an hour.
  4. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick and cut out the cookies. Place them on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.
  5. Put the baking sheet in the refrigerator while you clean up.
  6. Bake the cookies for about 13 minutes until firm.
  7. Cool on a rack
http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/vanilla-bean-shortbread-tea-cookies/

notes:

33 Comments

  • Reply
    Christine
    December 5, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Do you think the dough would hold up if I refrigerated over night? I have a massive baking day coming up with a girlfriend and like to make my doughs the night before to keep things moving when it comes to the oven. Thanks in advance.

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 5, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      Oh absolutely!

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    October 13, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    I made these but I didn’t follow the order of ingredients. I am blaming the cute 7 month old baby at my feet. Instead I mixed everything all at once, mixed with my mixer and hoped for the best. They came out pretty good but a bit dry. Which, I know is the nature of shortbread but they just were not giving me the va-va-voom I was looking for. So I melted down semi-sweet chocolates and dipped the face of them and they are one of the most amazing cookies, ever! Also, I didn’t use a fancy cutter, I used Halloween cookie cutters instead and they have morphed into divine Autumn treats.

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 13, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      Sounds wonderful Jennifer — I hope you gave the 7 month old a taste :)

  • Reply
    Amy
    August 31, 2016 at 7:38 am

    These are the best cookies I’ve ever made! I love how light and airy the dough is. My kitchen smells amazing now! And the cookies came out perfectly and stayed delicious for the week that we were able to not eat them all. :-) Perfection!

  • Reply
    MegD
    June 29, 2015 at 11:26 am

    I so wanted these to work. They so did not. I double-checked the ingredients and measurements. Everything was in order, but I ended up with a buttery flat mess on the baking sheet. We’re crumbling it up to go over ice cream, so we’re calling it a ‘reinterpretation’ but something went very wrong somewhere.

    • Reply
      Kate
      November 16, 2016 at 10:20 am

      Hi.. after baking a few years, I realized that the brand of butter matters. If at room temperature it is hard to get off the paper, it has too much liquid. I use Land of Lakes every time. Also if your butter is too cold it won’t work properly either..

      • Reply
        Sue
        November 16, 2016 at 11:34 am

        Great point Kate! I’m a Land of Lakes user too, and when I buy cheaper brands I can always tell the difference.

  • Reply
    Katie
    December 9, 2014 at 5:21 am

    Do you recommend using both vanilla bean and vanilla bean paste? I’ve never used the paste and am worried I would overload them with using scraped seeds as well.

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 9, 2014 at 6:44 am

      A lot of people will skip the vanilla bean, so the suggestion is there for that reason. I agree that the bean and the paste together might be overkill…but you never know…;)

  • Reply
    Trish Kane
    November 30, 2014 at 2:44 am

    Where do you buy vanilla beans for this recipe?

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 30, 2014 at 6:22 am

      I usually just buy my beans at the grocery store, Trish. But I recommend Olive Nation or Beanilla, which are online suppliers,

  • Reply
    Margaret
    November 12, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    I made the Vanilla Bean short bread today and they are delicious,I added some grated NUTMEG,the short bread cookies are buttery crisp the will go great with Tea,Coffee or cold glass f milk, I will triple the recipe for the Holidays.

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 12, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      I love the idea of adding the nutmeg :)

  • Reply
    Ruth Bethune
    April 18, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Where is the print icon please? Ruth Bethune

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 21, 2014 at 4:06 pm

      Sorry Ruth, my older recipes don’t have the printable recipe plugin, I’m trying to convert them all over to it, slowly!

  • Reply
    grace
    January 21, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    i’ve never heard a cookie described as demure–i like it. :)

  • Reply
    Donna Elick
    January 21, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    I love shortbread. Vanilla bean sounds perfectly fabulous. They are simple and fantastic all in one bite, arent they? Even sitting next to the truffles, I would go for the shortbread… However, I can’t say the same for the cake. I have a bit of a ‘thing’ with cake. haha

  • Reply
    vanillasugarblog
    January 21, 2013 at 12:25 am

    and i am so glad i finally switched over to using vanilla bean paste instead of pods–far cheaper!!! and just a tasty!

  • Reply
    Yasmeen
    January 21, 2013 at 12:15 am

    I’m always happy to have a delicate shortbread recipe on file – it’s something everyone loves and such a handy thing to whip up if people are coming over. Love the flecks of vanilla bean, too… we brought back heaps of vanilla beans from our honeymoon in Bali that are waiting to be mixed into these!

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    January 20, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    As I sit here drinking my cup of Jasmine tea and cookie-less, I’m salivating over these cookies. Can’t wait to try them!

  • Reply
    The Café Sucré Farine
    January 20, 2013 at 2:44 am

    These look super amazing! I can’t ever, ever, ever have too many shortbread recipes! This one will most definitely go into my collection! Would it be okay if took the blue tea cups too? I love those, so pretty!

  • Reply
    Leslie
    January 20, 2013 at 6:05 am

    Such a lovely cookie and I like your blue and white accessories!

    leslie
    http://www.trouverlesoleil.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
    January 19, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    I actually make a variety of vanilla bean shortbread that is my favorite! But yours are different than mine…and they do look so demure and dainty sitting there. I’ll be trying yours next time!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      January 20, 2013 at 1:57 am

      I’ll check your blog to see if you’ve posted them…I’d love to try another version. I’ve become such a vanilla fiend this year that I’m going to buy some beans in bulk.

  • Reply
    Mynda
    January 19, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Aloha! I love all types of shortbread but have never made a recipe with confectioner’s sugar — can’t wait to try this one!

    Can you confirm if it’s 1 pound or 2 sticks of butter, please? I thought there were 4 sticks in pound.

    Mahalo!

  • Reply
    Debby Foodiewife
    January 19, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    How beautiful are these? I love all the vanilla bean specks. I’ll be that the confectioners sugar makes these super tender. Drool.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      January 20, 2013 at 2:05 am

      You can use either kind of sugar, and I also like the kind of sandy texture that regular sugar gives them. I sometimes alternate.

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    January 19, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    I never make shortbread in favor of the more ooey and gooey type cookies. I need to change that up. The flavor in these is right up my alley.

  • Reply
    La Table De Nana
    January 19, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    My favorite kind of cookies..So pretty w/ blue and white:)

  • Reply
    Nantucket Daffodil
    January 19, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    OMG, I posted a photo in the sidebar of my blog of the most wonderful little bird cookie pictures….I do believe your cookies would be the perfect base, and I KNOw I can easily convert to gluten free!

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