close-up of vanilla bean shortbread cookies with strawberry buttercream

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Vanilla Bean Sandwich Cookies with Strawberry Buttercream

June 22, 2021

Vanilla bean sandwich cookies with strawberry buttercream have all your favorite flavors of strawberry shortcake in cookie form. Easy to […]

Vanilla bean sandwich cookies with strawberry buttercream have all your favorite flavors of strawberry shortcake in cookie form. Easy to make and fun to eat, these cookie sammies are a delicious summertime treat!

Summer is finally here and what better way to usher in the fresh, seasonal flavors of the season than with a batch of vanilla bean sandwich cookies stuffed with a fresh strawberry buttercream. I repeat. Vanilla bean sandwich cookies with strawberry buttercream. Oh yes I did! I’ve made a lot of sandwich cookies in my day (like a lot, a lot!) and these might just be my favorite yet. They’re like your favorite homemade strawberry shortcake but in cookie form. These bite sized treats are the perfect dessert to serve up all summer long. They’re as pretty as they are delicious but don’t worry, they only LOOK fancy. Let me tell you how to make them.

What makes these vanilla bean sandwich cookies so good?

The list is long when it comes to all of the things I love about these vanilla bean sandwich cookies with strawberry buttercream. Not only are they cute but they are positively delicious and they’re so much fun to make. Cookie lovers of all ages will love the buttery shortbread spiked with vanilla bean flecks and that fluffy strawberry buttercream is utter perfection. They’re perfectly vanilla-y and a teeny bit fruity. They’re the cookie of my dreams. But really tho, I cannot stop thinking about these cookies. Like little strawberry shortcakes in cookie form. Yes please!

Ingredients you need for strawberry buttercream filled sandwich cookies

Sandwich cookies might feel like a fancy treat you would only make for special occasions or holidays, but they’re surprisingly easy to make. Assembling the cookie sandwiches is easy and you only need a handful of simple ingredients to make plenty of cookies to feed a crowd.

Flour All purpose flour makes the perfect base for a shortbread cookie. Too much flour can create a dry, crumbly shortbread so be sure to measure the flour correctly. 

Butter With shortbread cookies, quality matters so be sure to reach for the best butter you can find. I prefer unsalted but if using salted butter, omit the extra salt from the recipe. For best results, use butter that is softened but still slightly cool to the touch. This will help decrease the chilling time before baking off the cookies.

Eggs Just two eggs gives these shortbread cookies flavor and structure. Set your eggs out on the countertop about an hour before baking so they are at room temperature when you are ready to mix the dough.

Sugar We’ll use both granulated sugar in the cookies and confectioners sugar in the strawberry buttercream. They’re perfectly sweet, but not too sweet! 

Cornstarch Did you know that the secret to soft and tender shortbread cookies that literally melt in your mouth is cornstarch. Yep. Cornstarch! Whisk it together with the flour before adding to the butter and sugar mixture for perfectly neat, crisp cookie edges.

Vanilla bean paste Vanilla extract is great in shortbread cookies but vanilla bean paste is even better. Think of vanilla bean paste as more bang for your buck. All those little flecks of vanilla bean make for a pretty cookie that tastes extra delicious. Like any baked good, these sandwich cookies are only as good as the ingredients you put in them which is why I would’t dream of using anything other than Rodelle Vanilla Bean Paste. Their vanilla bean paste can be used in a 1-to-1 ratio in any recipe that calls for vanilla extract or vanilla beans for a delicious, lower cost alternative. And it’s easy to find on Amazon!

Strawberries. Strawberry buttercream is one of my favorite summertime treats. I love to pile it on top of cupcakes, smother it over sheet cakes and it’s always a fan favorite swirled between two vanilla bean shortbread sandwich cookies. Before making the buttercream we’ll cook the berries down into a simple puree for lots of real, fresh strawberry flavor. If you don’t have fresh strawberries on hand, frozen berries will work great too!

How to make the best strawberry buttercream

I’m absolutely in love with these little vanilla bean sandwich cookies but I will say that the strawberry buttercream really wants to steal the show. It’s so light and fluffy and that pretty pink hue is all natural thanks to the season’s best berries. To make the buttercream we’ll first cook down a cup of fresh {or frozen} strawberries with a bit of water to make a puree. Once thickened, simply pour the puree through a fine mesh strainer and let it cool. When you are ready to make the buttercream, whip the butter until light and fluffy before adding the confectioners sugar and cooled strawberry puree. Stick with the paddle attachment instead of the whisk as the paddle consistently whips up a super fluffy frosting that keeps its shape when piped. For a silky smooth and extra creamy frosting we’ll add a little heavy cream to the mix. Regular milk or water won’t do –  plus the heavy cream gives the buttercream a delicious strawberry shortcake flavor that is beyond delicious. Pass me a spoon!!

How to assemble the perfect sandwich cookies

These cute-as-can-be cookie sammies might look a little fancy-ish but they are actually so easy to make and quick to assemble. Once the cookies are cooled and the buttercream is whipped until light and fluffy, we’ll add swirls of strawberry frosting using a large star piping tip. If you don’t have a standard pastry bag or piping tip, you can transfer the buttercream to a large plastic bag, cut the corner off of one side and then pipe the frosting on to the cookies. Top the frosting with a second cookie and gently press the two cookies together to form a sandwich. If it’s a warm day or your buttercream is on the softer side, place the cookie sandwiches in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to firm up. Eat and repeat!

How to store vanilla bean sandwich cookies

These summery sandwich cookies keep best tightly covered in the refrigerator. The buttercream will hold it’s form best if chilled and the cookies will not dry out if stored in cooler temps. If you made a few too many cookies for one sitting, line them up in a large plastic bag and store them flat in the freezer for up to 2 months. Simply defrost the cookies at room temperature before serving. You can also make the vanilla bean shortbread cookies ahead of time and freeze them before frosting. Then whip up the strawberry buttercream and assemble the cookie sandwiches once the cookies have defrosted. So easy and SO delicious!

This post is sponsored by Rodelle. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. I use their premium vanilla products in my own kitchen for everything from cakes to cookies to pancakes and pies. As a Rodelle ambassador, I am proud to be small part of a company that cares about ethical business practices. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Browned Butter Blondie possible. 

If you love sandwich cookies as much as I do, give these easy and delicious recipes a try:

Peanut Butter Mousse Sandwich Cookies

Brownie Cookie Sandwiches with Cookie Dough Buttercream

Peppermint Mocha Cookie Sandwiches

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close-up of vanilla bean shortbread cookies with strawberry buttercream

Vanilla Bean Sandwich Cookies with Strawberry Buttercream

  • Author: Heather | Browned Butter Blondie
  • Prep Time: 20 min + chill time
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 75 min
  • Yield: 24 1x

Description

Vanilla bean sandwich cookies with strawberry buttercream have all the flavor of strawberry shortcake in cookie form. Easy to make and fun to eat, these cookie sammies are everyone’s favorite summertime treat!


Ingredients

Scale

For Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies

1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

3 3/4 cups (406 g) all purpose flour

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 tablespoons Rodelle Vanilla Bean Paste

For Strawberry Buttercream

1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

23 tablespoons heavy cream


Instructions

For Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until combined well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

Add the eggs, one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.

Add the Rodelle Vanilla Bean Paste, mixing on low speed to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture and mix on medium speed for about 3-4 minutes until the dough comes together in a ball. It may appear dry at first but as you continue to mix the dough will begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Transfer the dough to a flat surface and gather into a ball. Cut the ball in half and cover one half with plastic wrap. Roll the other half out between two pieces of parchment paper until about 1/4″ thick. Slide the parchment covered dough onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes until firm.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line to baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Once the dough is chilled and firm, use a 2 inch cookie or biscuit cutter to cut the dough into rounds. Transfer the prepared shapes onto a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving just an inch between each cookie. Freeze for 10 minutes before baking to help the cookies maintain their shape. Gather up any unused dough and roll it out again between two pieces of parchment. Chill once more before cutting into shapes.

Bake for 10-11 minutes. The cookies will not brown too much at the edges. Be careful not to over bake. Repeat with remaining cookie dough until all of the dough has been used.

Cool the cookies completely before assembling the sandwiches.

For Strawberry Buttercream

Pulse 1 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries in a food processor. Transfer to a small saucepan and add 2 tablespoons of water. Cook the mixture down over medium low heat until thickened. Strain the strawberry puree over a small bowl through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the pulp and seeds. Set the puree aside to cool.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners sugar ½ cup at at a time. Once combined, increase the speed to medium high and beat for one minute. Add 3 tablespoons of the cooled strawberry puree. Mix to combine well. Add the heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Transfer the buttercream to a large piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe a swirl of buttercream onto the flat side of one cookie. Top with a second cookie and gently press together to form a sandwich.

 

 

 

 

 


Notes

Cookies may be made ahead and frozen. Wrap tightly in two layers of plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature before rolling out and baking.

  • Reply
    El
    April 7, 2022 at 5:22 am

    Hi, how long do the filled cookies stay fresh for? Thanks

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    March 22, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    Thanks for letting me know!

  • Reply
    Chris
    January 13, 2022 at 2:10 pm

    Hello. Thanks for this recipe. It sounds like you bake the cookies on the same cookie sheet from the freezer… is this correct?. I have always ransfered the frozen cookies to a room temperaure cookie sheet but would prefer not to.

    Thanks.

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      January 14, 2022 at 12:55 am

      Yes, they can go in straight from the freezer. Spread the cookies an inch or so apart – they will not spread in the oven. If you prefer to transfer the cookies to a fresh baking sheet, that works too. Just be sure it’s lined with parchment paper.

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