Thursday, June 14, 2012

Browned Butter Vanilla Bean Shortbread


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

Browned Butter
Directions from Smitten Kitchen
  1. 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. 
  2. 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.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Line bottom and sides of a 13 x 9–inch baking pan with foil; coat foil with cooking spray, and set aside.
  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.
  4. 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). 
  5. 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!). 
  6. 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. 
  7. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. 
  8. 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.
  9. Enjoy!!

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