A regular cookie I have to have every year at the holidays, is the classic cutout cookie. But, I couldn't find the regular recipe my mother used. So I decided to use a new recipe, from my new Williams-Sonoma Cookie cookbook. Overall, I wasn't impressed with these cookies... but, my hubby gobbled them ALL down in 2 days, so they can't be too bad!!
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, crem the butter until fluffy and pale. Add the granulate sugar in 3 additions, beating on low speed for 2 minutes after each addition. Beat the egg yolk and vanilla into the butter mixture until well blended.
Sift the flour and salt together onto a sheet of waxed paper. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed or stir with a wooden spoon just until blended.
Scrape the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 4 equal portions. Shape into disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets or line them with parchment (baking) paper.
Remove the dough disks from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out between 2 sheets of waxed paper to a thickness of 1/8-1/4 inch. Using cookie cutters, cut into curcles or other shapes. Repeat with the reamining dough portins, then gather up the scraps and reroll them. If the scraps of dough have become sticky, refrigerate them for 10 minutes before rerolling. For best results, do not roll the same dough more than twice.
Using an offest spatula, transfer the cookies to the prepared pans. Sprinkle with sugar. If using an intricately shaped cuter, refrigerate the cutout cookies for 15-30 minutes before baking.
Bake the cookies until they are lightly golden on the bottom, 10-12 minutes. Let the cookies cool briefly on the pans on wire racks before transferring them to the racks to cool completely.