Vanilla Bean Shortbread Sandwiches with Orange Buttercream

Make the vanilla-flavored shortbread in advance and store them in the freezer. Then when you're ready to present them, add the fresh orange frosting to make an elegant sandwich cookie.

Vanilla Bean Sandwiches w/Orange Buttercream
Prep Time:
35 mins
Bake Time:
18 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
12 sandwich cookies


  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

  • 3 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • ½ cup butter

  • 1 recipe Orange Buttercream

Orange Buttercream

  • ¼ cup butter, softened

  • 2 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 tablespoon milk

  • ½ of a vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • ½ teaspoon orange peel


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. If using vanilla bean, scrape seeds from pod. Discard pod. Reserve half of the vanilla seeds or 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract for Orange Buttercream.

  2. In a large bowl stir together flour and granulated sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter and the remaining vanilla seeds or extract until mixture resembles fine crumbs and starts to cling. Knead until smooth. Form into a ball.

  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 8x6-inch rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Using a fluted pastry wheel or a knife, cut into twenty-four 2x1-inch rectangles. Place rectangles 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

  4. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.

  5. Transfer Orange Buttercream to a pastry bag fitted with a small closed-star tip. Pipe frosting on bottoms of half of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies, bottom sides down.

Orange Buttercream

  1. In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add half of the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of the milk, the vanilla bean seeds (or vanilla extract), and orange peel. Beat until smooth. Beat in the remaining powdered sugar and enough additional milk to make frosting of piping consistency.

To Store:

Place unfilled cookies in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw cookies, if frozen. Assemble sandwich cookies as directed in Step 5.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

242 Calories
12g Fat
33g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 242
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 31mg 10%
Sodium 103mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Total Sugars 23g
Protein 2g
Calcium 10.1mg 1%
Iron 0.7mg 4%
Potassium 20mg 0%
Folate, total 24.2mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.1mcg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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