View Full Version : Vanilla Chai Shortbread Cookies

12-03-2005, 10:04 AM
Anyone ever made these? They sound divine!

Now I have to hunt down fresh vanilla beans- perhaps not so easy to find here.
I am not baking much this year but these I must try! The recipe is from the Wisconsin Dairy site (sorry can't remember the exact name)

Vanilla Chai Icebox Shortbread Cookies

Category: Dessert
Number of Servings: 3-4 dozen

2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted Butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
1 medium vanilla bean

1 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
More vanilla bean seed scraping, if desired
1 tablespoon water

Cooking Directions:
In a large bowl, sift or whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, allspice and cardamom. Set aside.

Combine Butter, sugar, honey and salt in a bowl. Using an electric mixer or wooden spoon, beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until smooth.

Using a small knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise in half. Scrape the seeds from both sides of the pod with the tip of the knife and add them to the butter-sugar mixture. Beat to combine.

Add in flour-spice mixture, 1 cup at a time, blending until fully incorporated.

Divide the dough in half and transfer each half to a sheet of wax paper. Using the wax paper, shape into a 12-inch log, rectangle, or square. Chill logs at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350F with an oven rack in the middle. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

With a sharp knife, cut logs into 1/8-inch-thick slices and arrange 1/2 inch apart on baking sheets. Bake until lightly browned around edges, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together icing ingredients until smooth and transfer to a sealable plastic bag. Cut an 1/8-inch opening in one corner of bag. Arrange cookies as close together as possible on sheets of wax paper and drizzle icing decoratively across the tops.

Kathy B
12-03-2005, 11:24 AM
Thanks for posting this recipe, Maureen, it sounds delicious. I wonder how they would be without the icing as DH doesn't really eat iced cookies. Since most shortbread isn't iced, I would think it would be fine.

There was a thread not too long ago about buying vanilla beans on-line at pretty cheap prices. I'll see if I can find it. This may be the incentive I need to place an order!

Kathy B
12-03-2005, 11:26 AM
Here is the thread.....

Vanilla Beans (http://community.cookinglight.com/showthread.php?t=78390&highlight=vanilla+bean)

12-03-2005, 11:33 AM
Yum! This has one of my favorite ingredients - chai - so they must be good :D

12-03-2005, 12:17 PM
I would leave off the icing as well Kathy. :)

12-04-2005, 09:13 AM

I also am not doing much baking this year, but you are right Maureen, these do sound good. Let me know what you think of them when you make them.
I would think a little drizzle of icing wouldn't be too bad, but I would prefer them plain as well.

12-04-2005, 09:22 AM
These sound devine! I would ice them though for presentation. A plain cookie does nothing for me. :D

12-04-2005, 10:06 AM
Sugar in your sauce? no sugar? Iced cookies? plain cookies?

I can't take another controversy!!!! :D :D

Do I want to drive all over town looking for a fresh vanilla bean?? That's the real question. :rolleyes: ;)

12-04-2005, 10:15 AM
Vanillavik sells vanilla beans on eBay. I ordered some from her for $1 each. I was very pleased with the quality of the beans and the turnaround time was very fast.

12-04-2005, 10:53 AM
Thanks for that info curtigan.

Unfortunately I am in Canada and so US sites don't really apply to me.
I am sure somone else could use that info though. :)

12-04-2005, 01:27 PM
Kima....do you have vanilla paste. If not then use vanilla extract...maybe a little more than called for. It is worth the try. Go ahead....be brave! :D

12-04-2005, 01:55 PM
Thanks Mama! it is sooo nice to have you around again. :)

I definately have extract but I always here how surperior the real bean is so I will try and find one-i am sure you can get it somewhere here but right now i avoid stores if at all possible. :cool:
I have heard of the paste but again ,like the bean, it would require some hunting.

We aren't called the "great white north" for nuttin. :o

12-04-2005, 05:34 PM
I am not a big fan of chai, but it seems that everyone else in my family is. I think I might have to try these for Christmas this year.

kima, Epicure Selections by Victorian Epicure sells the whole vanilla beans. My Mom knows someone who sells it (at home parties) and I could find out how much the beans are. If you do happen to find them there, could you let me know where? Thanks!

12-05-2005, 02:46 PM
I found fresh vanilla beans at Planet Organic Market at Quadra and McKenzie. $5.69 for one!!!

Oh well it's my Christmas splurge. :)

12-22-2005, 06:27 AM
I made these cookies last night. Overall, sadly, I would give them a thumbs down. First of all, the cookies are not shortbread at all, which was a disappointment, because I love shortbread. That should have been obvious from looking at the recipe, but I figured that despite having eggs, the cookies would still have the crumbly shortbread texture. Instead, they have normal icebox cookie texture.

Secondly, and this may have been operator error, but they are going to be the ugly step-children of my Christmas cookie plate. A lot of that is probably my fault for not shaping the log well-enough before refrigerating it. I'd never made icebox cookies before, and hadn't considered how important the shape of my log would be to the final look of the cookie.

The taste is ok, but not wowing me. Personally, I'd save my precious vanilla beans for another recipe.

12-22-2005, 06:52 AM
Mine did not shape up very well. They were really rather soft so I ended up having to flatten them on the cookie sheet.

These taste good to me and DH. Mine are crispy on the edges and soft and yummy in the middle.

I would have liked to have had the color sugar to roll them in ( I have none) and if I was doing a tray I would have iced them. That said, I gave a couple of baggies away to neighbors anyway.

All in all I liked these and would make them again.

Thanks for posting the recipe Maureen.

12-22-2005, 08:43 AM
Thanks for the reviews guys.

I still have not made these.

I may not as we have way too much baking around as it is for three adults who don't need it. :(

So what should I do with my pricey vanilla bean?

12-22-2005, 09:21 AM
Maureen, we love to braise figs (fresh or dry) in red wine with a piece of vanill abean and then serve them split open and filled with Mascarpone cheese.

If you want relatively inexpensive beans without the hassle of Ebay, Penzeys is the way to go. I have a ton from my trip to Penzeys, but if you can find someone to send them to you, they are about 2$ each and are excellent quality.

12-22-2005, 10:21 AM
OK, the ugly stepchild of the cookie platter comment is cracking me up!!

I like the blend of chai spices, so would be good to add those to another shortbread or butter cookie recipe.

The poached figs sound awesome! Never done that before!

12-22-2005, 12:47 PM
I want to say that I made these, and they turned out beautifully.

I didn't have pumpkin pie spices, so I subbed a few of the typical spices found in pumpkin pie... I gauged the amount and balance of spices by smell, adding until I thought it smelled like a mix I'd use for chai. I also ended up adding black pepper, since that's typical of most of the chai tea I drink (this was a VERY good move, as the flavor really shone).

Excellent. Great vanilla flavor! Excellent subtle chai flavor.

I cut these VERY thinly and drizzled them with the icing. They're not only pretty, but they're perfect for dunking in coffee or tea.

If we're lucky, they'll last until Christmas :D

12-23-2005, 08:00 AM
I have to second Lorilei's review. I have had the logs in the freezer for while and decided to serve them at an upcoming family gathering. When I saw the questionable reviews I decided I had better go ahead and try them. My DH and I thought that they were fabulous...and that is even before adding the icing. And even though I didn't think that my rolls were extremely round, they even look nice. However, personally I don't think that the vanilla flavor is very strong and if you wanted to save a vanilla bean you could probably substitute extract. I will definitely make these again - with or without the bean. :)

Thanks for sharing Kima!