This simple cookie is richly flavored with vanilla (YUM) and can be made into any shape you fancy. They are delicious as is, but a little icing makes them even more special. Recently, we were given a tip that has become most helpful in rolling out cookie or pastry dough: use rice flour! It has a finer texture than all-purpose flour and doesn’t add any more gluten to your dough. Brilliant!
5¼ oz. butter, softened (10 tbs.)
5¼ oz. golden or white caster sugar (¾ cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 tbs. vanilla extract
10½ oz. all-purpose flour (2¼ cups plus 1 tbs.)
Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for 3-4 minutes, or until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the egg and vanilla. Then add the flour and salt in three batches, mixing well after each. You will have a soft, smooth dough. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least one hour.
Heat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half the dough to a thickness on ¼”. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes and transfer to the baking sheets. Chill for 15 minutes, then bake for 8-10 minutes, until the top is light golden and the underside is just getting brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough, or chill or freeze for further use.
Optional: To make an icing, stir together some confectioner’s sugar and cream to a spreading consistency and top the biscuits.