Friday, November 12, 2010

Butter Cookie Experiments

photo by Anthony Palatta

With the holidays coming, I've been playing around with some different recipes for sugar and butter cookies.

This one's perfection if you like butter cookies.  It couldn't be simpler:  the ingredients are butter (lots of it!), sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, flour, and salt.

After mixing all the ingredients, you chill the dough for at least an hour.  Preheat the oven to 325, then roll out the dough on a surface well sprinkled with flour. (The flour and chilling are key, as this is incredibly sticky and soft dough.)  Cut out the shapes you want, set them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, reroll the scraps, cut again. A third time might be too much, as the dough will be too warm to work with.

Sprinkle the cookies with any colored sugar you like, and then bake for about 10 minutes, until the edges are just beginning to turn brown.

In the picture, you see that I tried icing the cookies. That was sugar overkill. The cookies are rich enough on their own. All they needed was a bit of crunch from a dusting of colored sugar.

Here's the exact recipe:

Aaron's Butter Cookies

2 cups butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 egg yolks
3 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
½ tsp salt

Cream the butter and sugar, add the rest of the ingredients, and then chill the dough for an hour.  Preheat the oven to 325.  Roll it out, about 1/4 inch thick, cut out shapes, and transfer the cookies to a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with colored sugar, then bake about 10 minutes.  Remove the cookies on the parchment from the cookie sheets and let them cool.

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