Simple Cut-Out Cookies
These cut-out cookies are easy to make -- a flavorful, shareable treat that can take any shape from heart, to star, to Christmas tree. They can be enhanced with different flavorings or decorated with sprinkles. The sky is the limit with these cookies!
- 2 cups (250g) Janie's Mill Silky Smooth Pastry Flour, All-Purpose Flour, or other flours with medium or lower protein content
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar, or a little less 1/3 cup (75g)
- 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (125g) butter, cold
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- large bowl
- rolling pin
- baking sheet
- cookie cutter(s)
- Combine flour, sugar, and salt in the large mixing bowl.
- Add the vanilla and egg, and incorporate into the flour mixture with a spatula.
- Cut small pieces of cold butter into the bowl. Use your fingertips to work the butter into the flour until the dough comes together into a smooth ball, with the butter evenly distributed. You can start out using a mixer and use your hands to finalize making the dough or do everything by hand.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour, preferably two, or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
- Cut dough in half - leaving the second half in the refrigerator - and roll the dough out on a floured surface. Use cookie cutters or a glass jar to cut out cookies and transfer them to the baking sheet. Combine the scraps into a ball and repeat the process. This dough is pretty cooperative even if it gets warm. Do the same with the other half of the dough.
- Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on wire rack and store in an airtight container.
- You can roll the dough out as thick or thin as you like, but 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick works well.
- Mixing and matching flours will be a whole lot easier using a digital kitchen scale. Stone ground flours are not standardized the way roller milled flours are and defy being measured with cups. Investing in a kitchen scale will kindle a love affair with the metric system. It will make all your baking (and cooking!) projects easier and you will have fewer dishes to clean.
Theme and Variations
Here are a few points of inspiration and adaptation:
- These cut-out cookies can be made with a variety of flours or mixes of flours. Feel free to experiment with any flours that have medium and lower protein levels (for guidance, take a look at Janie's Mill Flour Guide).
- Feel free to substitute the vanilla with almond extract or a splash of rum or whiskey.
- You can also add lemon zest, ground up fennel or anise seeds to the dough to give the cookies a fine licorice flavor.
Posted on October 16 2022