Dec 7, 2014

Holiday Butter Cookies

I found this recipe on the Huffington Post website. Because of its versatility, they call it "the only cookie dough recipe you need to know." I certainly wouldn't go that far, but I just took the first couple of batches of these cookies out of the oven, and I do like this recipe quite a bit right off the bat. They have a great texture and are buttery tasting.

The Huffington Post writer goes on to say the following: "The holidays are stressful enough, so make things easy by appointing this the season of one basic butter-cookie dough. Then, you can customize it based on the occasion, whether you're going to a bake sale or cookie exchange, throwing a dinner party or just having a late-night craving for a little something sweet. This brilliant recipe calls for just five ingredients: salted butter, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and flour. No matter how you shape them or upgrade them with flavors, they're wonderfully buttery, crispy, light and rich."

At this point, I've only tried a vanilla version, but I'm anxious to try a couple of additional flavorings suggested on the site, either adding 1 teaspoon of cinnamon or 2 teaspoons of finely grated orange or lemon zest. I can hardly wait!

Anyway, here is the basic recipe.

3 sticks salted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Red, pink, orange, or multicolored decorating sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add yolks and vanilla, beat again to combine, and then beat in flour.

Form dough into 1" balls and arrange on large, ungreased baking sheets, spacing cookies about 2" apart. Transfer decorating sugar to wide, shallow dishes. Press 1 ball of dough with the bottom of a decorative patterned glass. Then dip the glass in sugar and flatten a cookie with it, so the pattern and sugar transfer to the top of the dough. Repeat with remaining cookies.

Bake until cookies are lightly golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let rest on baking sheets 2 minutes, then gently transfer to baking racks to cool.