These are one of my absolute favorite cookies. As a simple sable (which is essentially French shortbread) they're easy to put together and plain in appearance, but their taste is full bodied and wonderful. It's all about using real vanilla bean, which gives them a heady aroma and strong taste that's a mix of old fashioned birthday cake, rum, and custard.
- Yield:makes about 3 dozen cookies
- Active time: 35 minutes
- Total time:about three hours
- 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 vanilla beans, seeds reserved
- 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
In a small bowl, rub together vanilla bean seeds and granulated sugar.
In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy, about two minutes. Beat in vanilla sugar mixture and confectioners sugar until smooth (but not fluffy), about one minute. Add egg yolks and vanilla extract and beat until blended, about one minute. Beat in flour and salt until just combined.
Divide dough into two equal balls. Roll each ball into an 8 inch-long log. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and let rest in fridge for at least two hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut each log of dough into 1/3 inch-thick circles. Bake cookies until golden brown around edges, about 18 minutes.