Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr
32 servings (serving size: 1 piece)

Use pantry staples and a flavorful vanilla bean to create these delicate cookies. Make them up to five days in advance, and store in an airtight container.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

Line bottom and sides of a 13 x 9–inch baking pan with foil; coat foil with cooking spray, and set aside.

Step 3

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.

Step 4

Place butter in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add oil; beat with a mixer at medium speed 3 minutes or until well blended. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean, and add seeds to butter mixture; discard bean. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Spoon dough into prepared pan. Place a sheet of heavy-duty plastic wrap over dough; press to an even thickness. Discard plastic wrap. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack; cut into 32 pieces. Carefully lift foil from pan; cool squares completely on a wire rack.

Ratings & Reviews

Lilmclendon's Review

December 13, 2014
Vegetable oil taste was strong and they crumbled when cutting. Waste of good vanilla beans.

LLLori's Review

October 12, 2014
This recipe should not be given for usage in decorating cookies. The shortbread tastes great, but it is a crumbly mess and not at all conducive to cutting out and icing.

jmeleeS's Review

April 01, 2014
I just made these cookies recently and while I agree with other reviewers that they are very crumbly, I expect crumble from a shortbread. That said, I did add 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips to the end of the batter before patting into my 13x9 pan without which I think this recipe would have been severely lacking in flavor. I also just used a spatula to spread the mixture and had no issues. Overall this one gets a 5 star for ease and a 3 (average) for taste. I would definitely make again for anyone who really loves shortbread cookies (like my husband); I wouldn't think to make them for myself, but that's just because I like chewy cookies vs. crumbly. Tip: slice into (but not all the way through) the vanilla bean lengthwise and then run / wiggle a grapefruit spoon the entire length of the bean to get out the seeds (you should be able to get all the seeds from the bean in one swipe or two. Enjoy!

lollypaul's Review

December 24, 2013
Great taste, but consistency wasn't really shortbread. I did vary the recipe by using 2 tsp. vanilla as other reviewers, and used a Wilton snowflake pan to press the dough into. Not knowing how to adjust the cooking time, I may have undercooked the first batch a bit. Hard to get out of the pan, and they were very crumbly. I also used organic granulated sugar from Costco, which may not be fine enough to stick together. The recipe didn't say to chill the dough, and it was very soft. They had a more cake like, crumbly consistency. Might try again in the pan according to directions, but probably will just move on to another recipe. I don't like the oil part - think that has something to do with the consistency, also.

amyhudak's Review

November 16, 2013
An incredible dessert! Delectable and special for sure. My husband said he can now die happy. A real keeper (so is the recipe).

JNBank's Review

December 01, 2012
Wonderfully delicious. Made these with 3 oz of whole wheat flour substituted and they turned out to be fabulous. Will definitely make again!

kisstina's Review

December 05, 2011
These are great! I sprinkled a light layer or cinnamon sugar on the top for an added sweetness. Easy recipe and taste DELISH. I brought them to work and they were gone within the hour. Many people asked me for the recipe.

satori56's Review

September 25, 2011
Great flavor and would definitely make again! next time i'm going to add two vanilla beans though.

anniescott's Review

February 08, 2011
These shortbread cookies are delicious! The texture is perfect - light and crumbly, and flavor is buttery with a very subtle hint of vanilla. This was my first vanilla bean experience, and I enjoyed the chance to use a new ingredient. I will be making these again very soon!

JoannahZ's Review

December 19, 2010
Very easy to make, the texture is the highlight because the vanilla is so subtle. The vanilla bean is a bit of a pain to work with, but worth it.