These butter cookies are delightfully simple and delicious. By themselves, they are delicate with a light crispiness with a deep vanilla flavor. The recipe calls for a teaspoon of vanilla but I added about 1 tablespoon AND I added one freshly scraped vanilla bean. I love a strong vanilla flavor. I wasn't intending on dressing them up with a pink vanilla buttercream but I thought they looked a little boring and needed a little somethin somethin. Besides, I just love the look of homemade sandwich cookies. So a few cookies just got a little fancy drizzle of the buttercream but the rest were sandwiched together with a thick layer of it!
You don't have to go all the way with the buttercream but you really should try and make these butter cookies. They kind of resemble a sugar cookie but are a little more delicate. The recipe calls for flattening the ball of dough with a fork and a criss cross pattern. I just used a drinking glass to flatten them. I wanted a smooth top. I highly recommend adding extra vanilla also. The vanilla bean addition is incredible. Such a simple little cookie but so much flavor. I will definitely make these again.
French Butter Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening (crisco at room temp)
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tarter. Set aside.
- In a bowl of a heavy duty mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the butter and shortening on medium speed till light and fluffy.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed until smooth.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract and continue beating on low until well combined.
- On low speed, slowly add the reserved dry ingredients. Beat well till combined.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and transfer to the refridgertor and chill until very firm, at least 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a melon baller or small ice cream scoop, take some dough and shape into 1 inch balls.
(Keep remaining dough in the refrigerator, as it must stay chilled)
- Place the dough balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press with the tines of a fork to flatten.
- Bake until pale golden, but not brown for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Cool slightly on the baking sheet on a rack.
- Then, using a spatula, transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.