Vanilla Shortbread Sandwiches with Orange Buttercream

Monday was National Cookie Day, according to my bloggin’ buddies Greg and Katherine over at Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide. So I pulled out one of my favorite places to find cookie recipes: the Better Homes and Gardens 100 Best Cookies issue. Keep your eyes peeled for this one, kids. I bought it about a year ago around the holiday season in the supermarket line. It was not an impulse buy. I bet I looked at it in line for about a month’s worth of grocery trips wishing for it but telling myself I didn’t need it before finally breaking down and purchasing it. This one is a gem. I mean…100 cookie recipes for $5? It doesn’t get much better than that. And every recipe I have tried from it so far has been super tasty. If you see it, don’t think, just buy. It’s okay.

Vanilla Shortbread Sandwiches with Orange Buttercream

Anyway, this particular recipe has been bookmarked for a long time but I’ve never gotten around to making it because we do not eat that many sweets in our house. We’d rather have a bag of chips and salsa. Or a big bowl of popcorn. Yum. These were super tasty and they were small, just about bite-sized and, in my opinion, perfect to go alongside tea or coffee. Though the picture makes them look big (I felt the need for a close-up to catch the icing), I’d say they were about the size of little matchbooks that everyone and their brother used to give out when everyone was smoking like a chimney but now are rarely seen anywhere. The recipe calls for you to make them into sandwiches. However, we felt that the icing made so much that we had enough to just top them individually. We were worried that globbing it on and then trying to sandwich them would end in catastrophe. Jake was nice enough to help me with frosting the cookies so I had a fellow to consult with. I think he was just happy to be doing something other than homework. These were perfect for us as the recipe didn’t make a TON of cookies. It was the perfect amount for 2 people. And I’m only slightly ashamed to tell you that we polished these off in a little over 24 hours. Try it out for yourself the next time National Cookie Day comes around…if you think you can wait that long (and I know you can’t).

Vanilla Shortbread Sandwiches with Orange Buttercream
for the cookies:
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter

for the Orange Buttercream:
1/4 cup softened butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 teaspoons additional milk

1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
2. In a large bowl stir together flour and granulated sugar.
3. Cut in butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until the mixture resembles fine crumbs and starts to cling.
4. Knead until smooth. Form into a ball.
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 8×6 inch rectangle.
6. Using a fluted pastry wheel or a pizza cutter, cut into twenty-four 2×1 inch rectangles.
7. Places rectangles 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
8. Bake 18-20 minutes or till edges are firm.
9. Cool on a cookie sheet for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
10. In a large bowl, beat softened butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.
11. Add powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, orange peel and vanilla extract.
12. Beat until smooth.
13. Beat in 1 cup additional powdered sugar and 2-3 teaspoons additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make a filling of piping consistency.
14. Pipe or spread Orange Buttercream on bottoms of half of the cookies.
15. Top with the remaining cookies, bottom sides down. Makes 12 sandwich cookies.

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