Basic Refrigerator Butter Cookies

From Gourmet, Dec. 2003, this dough can be the starting point of several cookies and although there are several versions of this cookie, for its simplicity this one is the best.

Ingredients: 

  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. ½ teaspoon baking powder
  3. ¼ teaspoon salt
  4. ¾ cup unsalted butter,
  5. 1 cup sugar
  6. 1 large egg
  7. ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy – about 3 minutes in a standing mixer and 6 minutes with a handheld.
  3. Beat it egg and vanilla.
  4. Reduce the speed to low and add flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
  5. Scrape down the dough in the bowl and set in refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes.
  6. Form dough into a 12 inch log about 2 inches in diameter and roll in plastic wrap.
  7. Chill dough for at least 4 hours.       Cookie logs can remain in the refrigerator up to 5 days and if double wrapped in the freezer up to a month.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper

  1. Cut logs into 1/8 inch slices and place 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Bake 6-8 minutes or into ¼ inch slices and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes.
  2. Cool on baking sheets for about 3 minutes before transferring them to cooling rack.

Note: Instead of forming dough into a log and chilling, you can roll tablespoons of dough into 1 ¼ inch balls, then roll balls in finely chopped nuts and coarse sugar. Bake about 15 minutes.

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