If you have time to make only one cookie this holiday season, and you want it to be pretty, festive, and widely appealing, try this simple cutout. It freezes beautifully and makes a great gift. The taste is sweet but uncomplicated, which makes it loved by pretty much everyone. Best of all, it’s easy. It uses six basic ingredients and the dough is rolled between plastic wrap instead of being dusted with flour. The result is a no-mess, no-fuss holiday treat.
Makes 36 cookies
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
Sanding sugar for decoration
In a large bowl, with electric mixer on medium, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg and vanilla, and beat until well mixed. Scrape down sides of bowl, add flour and salt. Blend on low speed until just combined; do not over mix.
Gather dough into a ball. Flatten into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove dough from refrigerator, take off plastic wrap and place between two new sheets of plastic wrap. Roll dough to a ¼-inch thickness. Cut dough with cookie cutters into desired shapes and place on prepared cookie sheet. Decorate with sanding sugar.
Bake cookies for 11–14 minutes, being careful not to brown. The bottoms of the cookies should just start to turn color. Cool for one minute on the baking sheets and then transfer cookies to a cool, flat surface. Store cookies in an airtight container.