Browned butter gives these melt-in-your-mouth cookies a slightly nutty flavor.
Browned Butter Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons high-quality salted butter, cubed
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
- Preheat oven to 325°. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Place a medium bowl over a bowl of ice water.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until butter turns a medium-brown color and has a nutty aroma, about 10 minutes. Pour browned butter into prepared bowl in ice bath; stir in milk. Continue stirring until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from ice bath; let stand at room temperature until the consistency of softened butter, about 10 minutes.
- Beat browned butter with a mixer at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar and reserved vanilla bean seeds; beat until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour, and beat until combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough ¼ inch thick. Using a 2-inch fluted round cutter, cut dough, and place on prepared pans. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 7 minutes. Rotate pans, and bake until light golden brown, about 7 minutes more. Let cool to room temperature.