I have discovered that vanilla seems to go with everything! It especially goes well with lemon in a shortbread cookie. Perhaps the richness of the butter is offset by the fresh lemon zest and floral vanilla? This isn’t quite a traditional shortbread as it has egg yolks but it still has that nice shortbread texture. -Steph McVox
Lemon Vanilla Shortbread Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
- 1 vanilla bean, split with vanilla beans scraped out or 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Grated zest of one lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract or oil
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Sanding sugar
In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, scraped vanilla beans (or extract), and lemon zest for about 2 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks and lemon extract.
Add the flour, cornstarch and salt and mix just until you have a soft dough. Shape into two discs, wrap and refrigerate for an hour (or up to a few days) or freeze for up to 3 months.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 F. Remove discs from the refrigerator, and let soften slightly so you can roll it out. Sprinkle rolling surface very lightly with flour and roll out dough to 1/4″ thick. Cut into shapes with a plain cookie cutter (detailed cookie cutters do not seem to work well with shortbread as it spreads too much) and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle each cookie with sanding sugar. Bake for 12-13 minutes, or until pale golden around the edges. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to completely cool. Makes 4-5 dozen depending on how big your cookies are.