Saturday, November 27, 2010

Classic Cookie Recipe

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour; more for rolling
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
Sanding sugars or other decorations (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt to blend.  Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until well creamed.  Add the egg and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla, cream, and lemon zest and mix just until well combined.

Reduce the speed to medium low and gradually add the flour mixture.  Mix just until well combined. 

 Portion the dough into thirds, shape each third into a disk, and wrap with plastic.

 Refrigerate until firm enough to roll out (or chill overnight).

When ready to bake, line several baking sheets with parchment and heat the oven to 350 degree F.  Flour a work surface.  Working with one dough disk at a time, roll the dough to 3/16 to 1/4 inch thick, lightly flouring the pin, the dough, and the work surface as needed to prevent sticking.

Using a variety of cookie cutters, cut out shapes as close together as possible.  Combine and reroll scraps as necessary.

Using a thin metal spatula, transfer the cut-outs to the baking sheet and decorate with sanding sugars or other decorations.  Bake one sheet at a time until the edges are just beginning to turn golden, 9 to 10 minutes.

  Watch carefully - the cookies should remain pale except for the golden edges.  Let cool completely on racks.  Store the cookies, well wrapped in airtight containers, for up to a few days.

My first batch of Christmas cookies this year and what better to start with than with a basic cookie recipe?  Sounds good to me.  What a better way to start off the Christmas season by filling the house up with cookies baking in the oven.  ~isavortheweekend

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