Vanilla Bean Shortbread—Holiday Worthy!

Friday, November 20, 2020

Vanilla Bean Shortbread


I have always loved shortbread. So much of it is the memories associated with this delectable treat. When our children were growing up a friend would make her homemade shortbread and share it with us at Christmas. We so looked forward to it each year. It was so good!

Since the children have grown up and we moved away I have been in search of a good shortbread so we could again enjoy this favorite treat. Most shortbread is packed full of butter and therefore high in saturated fat and calories. I wanted a shortbread that used half the butter and had less calories but didn't compromise on taste. I found one. The recipe replaces half the butter with canola oil which is rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fat. And to make it that much more wonderful, each serving is only 101 calories! This recipe originally came from the Cooking Light Mix & Match Low-Calorie Cookbook.

This shortbread has the same flaky texture and lightness you look for in any good shortbread. The vanilla bean flavor adds a new dimension. I have never scraped out the seeds of a vanilla bean before. This technique provides a richness to the shortbread, and an aroma that is very appealing. They have been a hit with everyone I have shared them with. A definite repeat!

Vannila Bean Shortbread—Holiday Worthy!

Vanilla Bean Shortbread

2 cups unbleached flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Cooking Spray 


1. Preheat oven to 350º.
2. Line bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with foil; coat foil with cooking spray.
3. Combine flour, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk
4. Place butter in a medium bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add oil then   beat again at medium speed until well blended.  Gradually add sugar, beating well. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean and add seeds to butter mixture. Discard bean.
5. Add flour mixture, beating a low speed just until blended.
6. Spoon dough into prepared pan. Place plastic wrap over dough. Then press dough to an even thickness. Discard the plastic wrap.
7. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Cut into 32 pieces. Carefully cool squares completely on a wire rack.
Nutritional Information
Servings: 32. Serving Size: 1 piece. Calories per piece: 101; Fat 6.4g; Protein .9g; Carb 10.1g; Fiber .2g; Sodium 39mg.


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