FOOD | vanilla bean shortbread cookies

Something I have always enjoyed is cooking with kids. In my high school babysitting days and college nannying days I loved nothing more than whipping up a batch of brownies or decorating some cookies with the kiddos in my care. It was a fun, non-screen centered activity where we could chit chat about life and enjoy a sweet treat together. I’ve always known that baking and cooking would be something that I would want to do with my own kids some day. A few weeks ago I introduced my two year old to the wonderful world that is creating in the kitchen and it. was. AWESOME. We baked my back pocket banana bread muffins and she was so engaged and so excited the entire time. It made my mama heart explode with absolute joy.

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On labor day we were planning on going to a friend’s cookout later in the day and I wanted to bring something to share for dessert that wasn’t too heavy and easy to snack on. I found this vanilla shortbread cookie recipe and they seemed like the perfect addition to our festivities. Only being a handful of ingredients was also helpful because the fewer the ingredients = the easier the recipe is to whip up with my new tiny little sous chef. I ended up modifying the recipe a tad – using my beloved vanilla bean paste vs. vanilla extract and adding some nutmeg as well as a bit of almond extract.

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These cookies are definitely becoming a dessert staple around our house. Everyone loves them and they are so easy to make + so easy to eat.

Vanilla Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients: 

  • 2 sticks of softened salted butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (I swear by this brand)
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour

Instructions: 

  1. Soften butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds. You don’t want it to be completely melted. Just soft enough to mix it easily with a hand mixer/stand mixer.
  2. Add vanilla bean paste + almond extract + nutmeg and combine with butter.
  3. Add powdered sugar and completely combine until smooth.
  4. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time until completely combined and smooth.
  5. Chill cookie dough in fridge for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Once cookie dough is chilled scoop onto a lined cookie sheet about 1.5-2 inches apart, then flatten dough until 1/2 inch thick
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes – right before edges start to get golden brown. Let cool completely and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Happy eating!

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