Vanilla Bean Shamrock Cookies – Sally’s Baking Habit

Using your choice of cookie cutters, you can enjoy these soft-baked vanilla bean sugar cookies as any shape you want. I’m showing shamrock-shaped cookies for the month of March! Without frosting, the vanilla bean cookies are lightly sweetened and fabulous with coffee or tea. But if you want to add some dazzling decoration, top with vanilla bean buttercream and a happy dose of sprinkles.

If you’re looking for a treat to serve on St. Patrick’s Day, these shamrock cookies are certainly festive by paying homage to the patron saint of Ireland. While I usually bake a batch of Guinness brownies on March seventeenth, I believed sugar cookies could be actually enjoyable this yr as a result of my oldest loves to brighten them. (Disclaimer– I did pipe buttercream on the pictured sugar cookies myself though in case you look intently, sprinkles are protecting some ugly spots… not a professional over right here!)

These Vanilla Bean Shamrock Cookies Are:

  • straightforward to make and embellish
  • festive for St. Patrick’s Day
  • comfortable & thick in case you don’t roll the dough too skinny
  • splendidly buttery
  • flavored with actual vanilla bean

And there’s one thing to say about these shamrock cookies even with out the buttercream— they’re so buttery, remind me of shortbread, and the vanilla bean taste actually shines by means of!

stack of soft-baked vanilla bean sugar cookies
shamrock shaped sugar cookies with green and white buttercream frosting

Let me share some useful recommendation and step-by-step images so that you get this recipe proper on the primary time:

My Absolute Finest Sugar Cookie Recipe

Should you haven’t tried my sugar cookies but, now’s the time! I exploit that sugar cookie dough for almost all of my formed sugar cookies and you could find all of them on the brand new Cut Out Cookies web page. Liked by many, the sugar cookies are comfortable, thick, maintain their form within the oven, and have a flat floor prepared for adorning. At this time’s recipe is identical solely you’ll add vanilla bean and we’re taking a small step away from conventional royal icing, too.

For in the present day’s shamrock cookies:

  • Vanilla Bean: Add the seeds scraped from 1 complete vanilla bean. Should you can’t discover vanilla bean in your grocery retailer, you’ll be able to order some on-line. I exploit and love these exact vanilla beans— and so they’re normally what I exploit for homemade vanilla extract and homemade vanilla sugar too.
  • Non-compulsory Vanilla Sugar: Talking of do-it-yourself vanilla sugar… have you ever ever used it in baking earlier than? At this time’s recipe is the proper place for vanilla sugar as a result of such a sugar is finest utilized in recipes the place vanilla is the outstanding taste. Simply use it as a 1:1 alternative for normal granulated sugar. It’s elective although– whereas I’ve made these sugar cookies with vanilla sugar earlier than, I didn’t use it in in the present day’s pictured cookies.
  • Cookie Cutter: You should utilize in the present day’s vanilla bean sugar cookie dough with any cookie cutter. For the shamrocks, I used the medium and small cookie cutters from this actual shamrock cookie cutter set. I do know the shop Michaels carries shamrock cookie cutters and if you wish to buy a single shamrock cookie cutter, this 3-inch size is a good choice.

The Trick is the Order of Steps

After the cookie dough comes collectively, roll the dough out and chill the rolled out sections of dough. Lower the chilled dough into shamrocks or different shapes after which bake.

Discover how I roll out the dough BEFORE chilling it within the fridge?

That’s the trick and let me clarify why it really works. To stop the cookies from over-spreading, the cookie dough should be refrigerated first. Roll the dough out proper after you put together it after which chill it. (At this level the dough is simply too comfortable to chop into shapes.) Don’t chill the cookie dough after which attempt to roll it out as a result of will probably be too chilly and stiff to roll. I divide the dough in half earlier than rolling it out and extremely suggest you do the identical as a result of smaller sections of dough are loads simpler to deal with.

vanilla bean sugar cookie dough in glass mixing bowl

One other trick! Roll out the cookie dough immediately on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper so you’ll be able to simply switch it to the fridge. Choose it up, put it on a baking sheet, and place it within the fridge. Should you don’t have sufficient room for 2 baking sheets in your fridge, stack the items of rolled out dough on high of one another. (That’s what I do.)

vanilla bean sugar cookie dough and rolled out on silicone baking mat

After chilling the rolled out dough, it’s able to form and bake:

sugar cookie dough cut into shamrock shapes with cookie cutter
vanilla bean shamrock sugar cookies
vanilla bean buttercream in mixing bowl

If you wish to embellish the vanilla bean shamrock cookies, you should use royal icing, simpler cookie icing, or the pictured vanilla bean buttercream. The vanilla bean buttercream recipe beneath is just like common vanilla buttercream, however makes simply sufficient to frost the batch of cookies whether or not you employ a piping tip, knife, or icing spatula to brighten. And just like the sugar cookies, the frosting contains vanilla bean.

Adorning Shamrock Cookies with Buttercream

  • This frosting doesn’t actually crust: Although the frosting considerably units, it doesn’t totally crust. Should you choose a crusting buttercream, you’ll be able to substitute half of the butter with shortening.
  • You may tint this frosting: Be happy to tint the vanilla bean buttercream. So the buttercream maintains its consistency, I like to recommend gel meals coloring. I used Americolor leaf inexperienced. Although I’ll say that I beloved how the cookies with uncolored buttercream regarded as a result of you’ll be able to actually see the vanilla bean specks!
  • Make it two-toned: Do you keep in mind after I confirmed you the best way to make two-toned frosting roses? A number of the pictured shamrock cookies have two-toned inexperienced buttercream. To do this, spoon 2 or extra colours of buttercream into your piping bag. I used uncolored buttercream (white-ish) and inexperienced. If you pipe, the colours will swirl collectively and every frosted cookie will look completely different. Very fairly!

To simply fill a piping bag with frosting, match the piping bag right into a tall cup first. The cup holds the piping bag open and upright which makes it very easy to fill.

vanilla bean buttercream tinted green and in a piping bag with white buttercream
vanilla bean shamrock shaped cookies with St. Patrick's Day green buttercream and gold sprinkles

And don’t fear, in case you completely mess up when adorning cookies with buttercream, sprinkles can disguise your mistake. Let me know in case you attempt these vanilla bean cookies– shamrock formed, embellished, plain, nonetheless!


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Utilizing your selection of cookie cutters, you’ll be able to get pleasure from these soft-baked vanilla bean sugar cookies as any form you need. You may depart them plain or embellish with the vanilla bean buttercream listed beneath or attempt royal icing or this easy cookie icing as an alternative.

  • 2 and 1/4 cups (281gall-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus extra as wanted for rolling and work floor
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks or 170gunsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150ggranulated sugar
  • seeds scraped from 1 complete vanilla bean*
  • 1 massive egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Vanilla Bean Buttercream

  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks; 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • seeds scraped from 1/2 of a vanilla bean*
  • 3 cups (360g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted (sift after measuring)
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream, half-and-half, or complete milk, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • salt, to style
  • elective: gel meals coloring for tinting
  • elective: sprinkles for adorning

  1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt collectively in a medium bowl. Put aside.
  2. In a big bowl utilizing a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar collectively on excessive pace for 1 minute. Add the vanilla bean seeds and beat once more till mixed and butter is creamy, about 1-2 extra minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat on excessive pace till mixed, about 1 minute. Scrape down the perimeters and up the underside of the bowl and beat once more as wanted to mix.
  3. Add the dry components to the moist components and beat on low pace till mixed. Dough might be a bit comfortable. If the dough appears too comfortable and sticky for rolling, add 1 extra Tablespoon of flour.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Place every portion on a chunk of frivolously floured parchment paper or a frivolously floured silicone baking mat. With a frivolously floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness. Use extra flour if the dough appears too sticky. The rolled-out dough could be any form, so long as it’s evenly 1/4-inch thick.
  5. Frivolously mud one of many rolled-out doughs with flour. Place a chunk of parchment on high. (This prevents sticking.) Place the 2nd rolled-out dough on high. Cowl with plastic wrap or aluminum foil after which refrigerate for at the very least 1-2 hours and as much as 2 days.
  6. As soon as chilled, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 massive baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Rigorously take away the highest dough piece from the fridge. If it’s sticking to the underside, run your hand below it to assist take away it. Utilizing a cookie cutter, lower the dough into shapes. Re-roll the remaining dough and proceed slicing till all is used. Repeat with 2nd piece of dough. (Notice: It doesn’t seem to be quite a lot of dough, however you get quite a lot of cookies from the dough scraps you re-roll.)
  7. Prepare cookies on baking sheets 3 inches aside. Bake for 11-12 minutes or till frivolously browned across the edges. In case your oven has scorching spots, rotate the baking sheet midway by means of bake time. Enable cookies to chill on the baking sheet for five minutes after which switch to a wire rack to chill utterly earlier than adorning.
  8. Make the buttercream frosting: With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and vanilla bean seeds collectively on medium pace till butter is creamy, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Beat on low pace for 30 seconds after which improve to medium-high pace and beat for two full minutes. Style. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is simply too candy. To paint the frosting, divide the frosting between 2-3 bowls (or nonetheless many colours of frosting you need). Stir in 1-2 tiny drops of gel meals coloring (or extra, relying in your desired colour).
  9. Frost the cooled cookies: You may embellish the cookies with a knife, icing spatula, or use a piping bag and piping tip. High with sprinkles, if desired. Within the pictured cookies, I crammed a piping bag with spoonfuls of each inexperienced and uncolored frosting and used Ateco 30 piping tip. Pipe hearts as the three leaves and a line because the stem.
  10. Frosting doesn’t harden or crust very a lot, although you would gently stack 1 frosted cookie on high of one other, however count on some slight squishing. Retailer frosted cookies lined at room temperature for as much as 1 day or within the fridge for as much as 1 week. Retailer unfrosted cookies lined at room temperature for as much as 5 days or within the fridge for as much as 1 week.


  1. Freezing Directions: Plain or frosted sugar cookies freeze properly as much as 3 months. Thaw within the fridge or at room temperature. You may as well freeze the cookie dough for as much as 3 months earlier than rolling it out. Put together the dough by means of step 3, divide in half, flatten each halves right into a disk as we do with pie crust, wrap every in plastic wrap, after which freeze. To thaw, thaw the disks within the fridge after which carry to room temperature for about 1 hour. Roll out the dough as directed in step 4 after which chill rolled out dough within the fridge for 45 minutes – 1 hour earlier than slicing into shapes and baking.
  2. Room Temperature: Room temperature butter is crucial. If the dough is simply too sticky, your butter might have been too comfortable. Room temperature butter is definitely cool to the contact. You may learn extra about it in this post. Room temperature egg is most well-liked so it’s shortly and evenly blended into the cookie dough.
  3. Vanilla Bean: This recipe requires the seeds from 1 complete vanilla bean within the cookie dough and from 1/2 of a vanilla bean within the frosting. (For further taste, be at liberty to make use of 1 complete bean within the frosting too.) To get the seeds out of a vanilla bean, use a small knife to chop the vanilla bean lengthwise after which use the boring aspect of the knife to scrape out the vanilla seeds.
  4. Utilizing Vanilla Bean Paste As a substitute: When you’ve got vanilla bean paste, you should use that as an alternative of vanilla bean. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste while you add the vanilla extract. If you wish to substitute the vanilla extract AND vanilla bean with vanilla bean paste, add 1 Tablespoon paste while you would add the vanilla extract.
  5. Can I Tint the Cookie Dough? If you wish to skip the icing however are nonetheless itching for a inexperienced or different coloured dessert, you’ll be able to add a pair drops of gel meals coloring while you add the dry components/flour combination.
  6. Particular Instruments: Rolling Pin, Cookie Cutters (I exploit the small & medium from this shamrock cookie cutter set), Parchment Paper (I like these sheets) or Silicone Baking Mats, elective Gel Meals Coloring similar to Americolor Leaf Green, Buttercream Piping Tip similar to Ateco 30 (what I utilized in pictured cookies) or Wilton 30, Disposable Piping Bags or Reusable Piping Bags

Key phrases: vanilla bean shamrock cookies

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