Since I've been enjoying cooking and baking so much lately, I decided to send along some easily transportable Vanilla Bean Shortbread from the May 2009 issue of Cooking Light. My healthy secret here was that I'm not really a shortbread fan, so I wasn't tempted to nosh on the leftovers. I also included jam I made from blackberries I picked last summer... we still have so much left, I was glad to have a chance to share. I packaged everything up using these precious labels. Hope you girls enjoyed the treats!
Vanilla Bean Shortbread
Adapted from Cooking Light
Makes 32 pieces
"This half-oil, half-butter version yields a crisper, more delicate cookie," says Cooking Light Advisory Panelist Greg Drescher of the Culinary Institute of America. Make up to five days in advance, and store in an airtight container.
9 oz. all-purpose flour (about 2 c.)
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. canola oil
1/2 c. sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
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 or bowl of a stand mixer; 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.