Browned Butter Vanilla Bean Shortbread - Adapted from Cooking Light
Yield: 30 squares
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, browned (see below)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Directions from Smitten Kitchen
- Cut butter into four or five pieces and cook butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it has a nutty fragrance and flecks on bottom of pan turn a light brown, anywhere from 4 to 7 minutes.
- It helps to frequently scrape the solids off the bottom of the pan in the last couple minutes to ensure even browning. Transfer butter to a bowl and chill until just firm, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Line bottom and sides of a 13 x 9–inch baking pan with foil; coat foil with cooking spray, and set aside.
- 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.
- Place butter in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until light and fluffy (since you've altered the butter by browning it, this butter won't act the same as it would if it were just softened).
- Add oil; beat with a mixer at medium speed 3 minutes or until well blended. Add extract. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean, and add seeds to butter mixture; discard bean (better yet, put it in your extract!).
- 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 (I used an offset spatula instead and it worked great). 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.