Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Best Butter Cookies

This is a recipe perfected over years of baking. The woman who owns the restaurant I used to work at tried recipe after recipe to get it just right. I have never found another that tastes as good, works as well, and holds up in the freezer (should you be brilliant and plan ahead!) The flavor is simple and light, buttery and sweet.

You can used colored sugars to decorate these cookies before baking, frost them afterwards with Royal Icing, or leave them plain. Whatever you decide to do - I guarantee they wont stay in the cookie jar for long! If you are going to decorate them with Royal Icing - save the egg whites when separating the yolks for the dough. You'll need them to make the icing!

2 cups unsalted (sweet) butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla
4 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter in the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment.
Slowly add the sugar.
Add the egg yolks one at a time, scraping down bowl after each addition.
Add the vanilla and beat until well combined.
Sift the flour and salt together.
Add one cup at a time to the butter mixture.

Divide dough into two balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
Roll out dough on a floured surface and use cookie cutter to shape.
(If you are using colored sugars to decorate - add now before baking!)
Bake for 8-9 minutes - just until the edges are barely golden brown.
Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.
Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

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