Sugar Cookies

This dough is not only great for cut-out cookies, it also acts as the delicious bottom layer of the Florentines.



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Ingredients
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    14   ounces 
    (28 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
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    1 1/2  teaspoons 
    finely chopped lemon zest
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    3/4  cup 
    granulated sugar
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    1/2  teaspoon 
    table salt
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    1   
    large egg
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    1   teaspoon 
    pure vanilla extract
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    4 2/3  cups 
    (1 pound 5 ounces) all-purpose flour

Directions
1.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the softened butter, zest, sugar, and salt and beat with the paddle until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat it in well. In three additions, stir in the flour until blended. Spread the dough out, about an inch thick, on a sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until firm. You can refrigerate the dough, wrapped well, for up to a week.
2.
When ready to roll, heat the oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment. Allow the dough to soften slightly. You may find it easier to work with half of the dough, keeping the other half chilled; dough that's too warm won't hold its shape well.
3.
Generously flour your work surface. Roll the dough 1/4 inch thick. Dust off excess flour with a clean, dry pastry brush. Cut out the shapes you want, rerolling the scraps to make more cookies. Arrange the cookies 1 inch apart on the lined baking sheets. Bake until the edges turn golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet on a rack before transferring or decorating.
Tip:

1.
For the best results, measure your flour by weight instead of volume. (1 cup of all-purpose flour equals 4-1/2 ounces) If you don't have a scale, be sure to use the proper technique when filling your measuring cups.
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Related Recipe
Basic Sugar Cookie Dough
Basic Sugar Cookie Dough

Spend a holiday afternoon baking sugar cookies with your kids. Decorating these cutout treats is more than half the fun.

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