Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies with Orange Buttercream
For the Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 vanilla bean
For the Icing
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon orange extract
- 2-3 tablespoons whole milk or cream
- Orange food coloring, optional
Make the cookies. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl add the flour, butter, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Split the vanilla bean in half with a knife and scrape the seeds into the bowl. Using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the ingredients together until the dough just comes together, about 2 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll out until it is 1/3 inch thick. Using a small biscuit cutter, cut circles out of the dough and place on prepared baking sheets. Repeat until all the dough is used. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350º F and bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until just beginning to brown on the bottoms. Let cool completely.
Make the icing. In a small bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and orange extract. Add milk or cream slowly, a little at a time, until the icing is the right consistency. Add in a drop or two of orange food coloring, if using, and stir until color is uniform. Ice the cooled cookies.
*These values are approximate. Per serving, based on a 2,000 Calorie diet.