Vanilla Shortbread Cookies


My Nanny used to make the best shortbread cookies every Christmas. They were as hard as hockey pucks and I LOVED them. They were the first treat I looked for on the Christmas goodie plate. Since I had some homemade vanilla extract that I really just want to put in everything right now, I modified her recipe slightly to make a slightly softer cookie that showcased the vanilla flavor. It turned out fantastic! It’s simple, not-too-sweet, and perfect with a cup of tea.

Here’s the recipe:

Vanilla Shortbread Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen 1-inch cookies

Vanilla Shortbread Cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp homemade vanilla extract
  • pinch of baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour


  1. Cream the butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Blend in the sugar, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Gradually stir in the flour. Knead well by hand. The dough will be firm. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Break off sections of the dough and carefully roll out to 1/2" thick. Cut into shapes.
  5. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 300F for about 18 minutes, or until the cookies are firm but not yet browned.
  6. Remove from baking pan and cool on a wire rack.


Nicole L'Esperance loves to cook from scratch. She is the co-author of the Easy Recipes from Scratch cookbooks found on


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Email: nicole (at)
Skype: nicolearn

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