shortbread cookies of any sort. Let's be real, it's probably the butter. These are made even better by a chocolate ganache filling. Ganache. It's such a fancy-sounding word for a really simple process. These are big cookies once they're put together, so one makes a perfectly-sized dessert.
Vanilla Shortbread Sandwich Cookies (makes 10-12 assembled cookies)
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 c vanilla sugar, plus more for sprinkling (regular sugar can be substituted)
1/2 vanilla bean
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
Powdered sugar, for dusting
1/4 c heavy cream
1 tbs unsalted butter
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1.5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Small pinch of flaky sea salt
- Whisk together flour and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. Cream butter in a large bowl until fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and cream another 3-4 minutes. Using a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise. Scrape the inside of the bean with the tip of the knife to get the caviar. Add it to the butter mixture and beat it in, about 30 seconds. Stir in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture gradually, beating on a low speed. When the dough has just come together, scrape down the sides and refrigerate 10 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 275º. Dust your work surface with powdered sugar. Turn the dough out on the surface and pat or roll to 1/2" thickness. Using the 2-inch cookie cutter of your choice, cut as many cookies as possible. Place the cut cookies on an ungreased baking sheet. Re-roll or pat your dough scraps and cut cookies again. You may re-pat once more, but these cookies may turn out tough. A gentle touch is always preferable. Sprinkle the cookies with a little extra sugar. Bake the cookies 40 minutes or until the edges are barely golden. Let cool on the cookie sheet 5-8 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While cookies cool, prepare ganache. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally when the chocolate begins to melt. When only a few lumps remain, take the ganache off the heat and stir until smooth. Let cool at room temperature until the ganache reaches the consistency of a thick pudding.
- Turn half the cookies over for piping. Using either a plastic baggie with a snipped corner or a pastry bag, pipe the ganache over the flipped cookies. Leave a little border around the cookie. Top each piped cookie with an unpiped cookie. Store in an airtight container up to 3 days (if they last that long).