Sunday, 22 June 2014

Last Minute and Low Supply: Vanilla Bean (Apricot) Shortbread Cookies

Pin It
photo 3

(This will be a shorty because I've been asked for the recipe enough times in the last 24 hours to get me to write the post the day after these cookies were baked and consumed.  I know – bonkers fast for me!)

I went to a friend's Summer Solstice barbecue yesterday, and when I woke up late, a bit hungover after a night out, I suddenly realized that while I had offered to bake cookies for the party I had a seriously limited stock in my cabinets.  I knew I had butter (in fact, despite being tipsy the night before when I got home, I had even remembered to take a stick out of the freezer and let it soften on the counter), and I knew I had flour and sugar, but I was eggless, and my roommate who moved out recently took her raising agents with her, so I was pretty much at a loss for ideas on what to make.  BUT THEN!  Inspiration struck.  Shortbread doesn't have eggs or raising agents!

So I went to my trusty old recipe source,, and I found a recipe for shortbread that looked really easy, and I got to work making it, replacing the almond and vanilla extracts with vanilla bean paste (because I had some and because YUM) and putting thumbprints in half the cookies and filling them with my favorite apricot preserves.  And then I baked them... for ages... and increased the temperature... and baked them for even longer...

Eventually they cooked through, and in the meantime I'd made a second batch of dough – the first one only stretched to a dozen cookies and it didn't seem like enough for a party, so I quickly defrosted and manhandled another stick of butter and by the time the first batch had finally finished baking I was ready to pop in another, starting at the higher heat this time.

photo 2(3)

And it's a good thing I did, because these babies were delicious!  Crumbly, mouth-melting shortbread with the pure perfume of vanilla bean and (on half the cookies) the tart/sweet chewiness of cooked apricot jam in the center.  Once word spread through the party that they were inside they disappeared very quickly.  One girl even stood up as I was leaving to tell me again how much she'd enjoyed them.

Vanilla Bean Apricot Shortbread Cookies
     adapted from Allrecipes, makes about two dozen

Preheat oven to 275F/135C.  Cream together:
     1c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
     1/2c powdered sugar
     1 3/4c flour

Stir in, mixing well:
     1 1/2tsp vanilla bean paste

When dough is thoroughly combined, make teaspoon-sized rounds with your hands and press in an indent with your fingertips and drop in a small spoonful of your favorite apricot jam/preserves (you can do this with all the cookies, or if, like me, you worry about allergies, you can do half little plain balls).

Bake 20-30 minutes, until lightly brown.  Let cool completely before serving.  Enjoy!

photo 1(3)

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love hearing from you guys, so if you have a question or a comment, or even just a random outburst like OMNOMNOM, please post it here!