Butter Cut Out Cookies….

Isn’t this a pretty cookie?  What I love most about this cookie is that it isn’t overly sweet.   Because there is no leavening in the recipe, it is the perfect dough to make two layered cookies.  Fill with your favorite fruit preserves or try filling with melted chocolate.  Dust with powdered sugar for a lovely finishing touch.  If you don’t want to make a filled two layer cookie, try baking your favorite shape and half dip into chocolate with sprinkles or chopped nuts.

There is something about a pretty little package of goodies I find irresistible!  It’s the perfect small gift to say Merry Christmas in a very special way.  Great for your kid’s bus driver or crossing guard.

Butter Cut Out Sugar Cookies

¾ lb. softened unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
3 ¾ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

1) With an electric mixer, beat softened butter in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat mixture until fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl.
2) Add eggs and beat for 30 seconds, scrape down sides, beat another 30 seconds.
3) Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup and level off with a knife into a medium bowl and add salt. Mix to blend. Add flour about a cup at a time and mix on the lowest speed of your mixer until all flour is incorporated.
4) Dump cookie dough onto counter top and shape into two discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and put into a large zip bag. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
5) Preheat oven to 375’. Cut parchment paper to fit cookie sheets and set aside.  No need to use any cooking spray or fat on parchment, nothing will stick!
6) Lightly flour your counter top and roll out a softball size piece of dough to about 3/16”. Cut with cookie cutters and place on parchment lined sheet. Bake for 7-9 minutes. 

*To make the two layer cookie:
1)   You will need your favorite shape and a small round cutter to cut out the centers of the top cookie.  When assembling cookies, place the bottom of each cookie together (after you add fruit filling of course)
2)  Dust each cookie through a fine sieve or a sugar shaker with powdered sugar.  Allow to sit on the counter overnight for the cookies to set up.  Store in an air tight container.

To dip into chocolate:
1)  Simply melt semi sweet chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 second increments, stirring between.  Do not over heat, chocolate will burn.  Dip cookie into chocolate and allow to set on a piece of parchment or wax paper.  Add any sprinkles or nuts right after dipping.
**You can refrigerate the dough overnight if you wish. Allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before you start shaping into cookies. You will need to knead the dough before you attempt to roll it out.
***Gather all of the dough scraps after cutting and knead that dough into some of the fresh dough. The dough will soften a bit and be easier to work with after the initial rolling.
****Be sure to watch the first batch while in the oven closely. Baking times can vary depending on your oven. Set your timer for 7 minutes and bake additionally as needed. Make a note on your recipe the exact baking time.

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