After looking at the final cost of my weekly grocery bill, I decided to start making certain things on my own. First on the list...cookies! This is my first attempt at making butter cookies and woowee are they yummy. I used a recipe from Epicurious, but here it is for your baking pleasure.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Garnish: coarse or sanding sugar*; or melted chocolate (see cooks' note, below)
1) Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a standing mixer (preferably fitted with paddle attachment) or 6 with a handheld.
2) Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low, then add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Form dough into a 12-inch log (2 inches in diameter) on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll up dough in plastic wrap. Chill dough on a baking sheet until firm, at least 4 hours. (To roll cookies into balls, see link to Epicurious recipe.)
3) Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 375°F. Cut enough 1/8- to 1/4-inch-thick slices from log with a heavy knife to fill 2 ungreased large baking sheets, arranging slices about 1 inch apart (chill remainder of log, wrapped in plastic wrap). If garnishing with coarse sugar, sprinkle slices with it.
4) Bake cookies, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until edges are golden, 12 to 15 minutes total. Cool on sheets 3 minutes, then transfer with a metal spatula to racks to cool completely. Make more cookies with remaining dough on cooled baking sheets.
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