Classic Butter Cookies
1 C. unsalted butter
2/3 C. sugar
bare pinch salt
2 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
Cream the butter until softened, then add sugar and salt. Fold in flour and mix to make a stiff dough. Knead gently on a lightly floured board to make the dough smooth.
You may otherwise place flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Add butter in chunks and pulse to make a crumbly mixture. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead to make a stiff dough.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap or wax paper and chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll dough out to a thickness of 3/8 to 1/2 inch. Cut into rectangles or circles. Mark with the tines of a fork. Place cookies two inches apart on baking sheet and place in oven. Immediately reduce heat to 325 F. Bake until lightly browned (25 to 35 minutes). Reduce heat if cookies are browning too quickly.
Cool cookies on a rack.
You may also pat dough out into an 8 or 9 inch cake pan. Mark with fork tines and score into 10 to 12 wedges. Bake until lightly browned on edges.
Variations on the Classic Butter Cookie Dough
Knead in about 1 T. of freeze-dried coffee into the dough.
Replace white sugar with 3/4 C. brown sugar (light or dark).
Add 1/3 C. toasted, ground cashews with flour.
Melt 4 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate. Dip cookies half into partially cooled chocolate. Allow to set.
Add 1 t. mixed pastry spice, apple pie spice, or 1/2 t. cinnamon and a 1/8 t. cloves, pinch ginger and allspice.
Add spices as directed above and 1/3 cup ground hazelnuts. Add one teaspoon vanilla (when creaming butter). Roll thinly and bake half of cookies with a hole cut out. Spread raspberry jam on bottom halves and top with a cut out. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.
Knead in 1/2 C. miniature chocolate chips into dough.