Recipe by Cecily McAndrews
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About 1 hour, 20 minutes
About 5 hours, 20 minutes (includes chilling and decorating)
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen 2-inch cookies
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Royal Icing
1. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar, stopping occasionally to scrape down the bowl, until fluffy and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla, stopping once or twice to scrape down the bowl, about 1 minute more. Add the flour and salt. Mix on low until just blended. Divide the dough into two disks and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate the dough until firm, 2 to 3 hours.
2. Arrange the racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven; preheat to 350°. Roll out 1 disk of dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper to about 1/4 inch thick. Peel off the top sheet of parchment and, using cookie cutters, cut out the cookies. Divide between 2 parchment-lined baking sheets.
3. Bake the cookies, rotating and reversing the sheets halfway through, until pale golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough on cooled, parchment-lined baking sheets.
4. Decorate the cookies with the Royal Icing. Let dry for at least 1 hour or overnight. Store in an airtight container, layering the cookies between sheets of parchment.