Some of you may have noticed that there was no new post last week–or maybe you didn’t. I took a break last week from posting for no particular reason, but as I’m going to be taking a trip this coming week, I wanted to make sure I got one up today so that I didn’t let another week go by without updating the blog. I’m a stickler for consistency.
Having said that, because I am getting ready to travel, the theme of today’s post is short, simple and sweet.
Although I do like taking on hefty baking projects like layer cake, they do take a lot of time and effort. There are some times when I don’t have the time or energy to put in all of the work–but I’ll still want dessert. A good one.
So, what do I do?
I keep it simple. I keep it sweet. And I make butter cookies.
I don’t know, y’all. There’s just something so special about a butter cookie that’s executed perfectly. They have practically no embellishments at all, which means there’s no room for error and no other components to hide mistakes. Either that butter cookie is going to taste good, or it isn’t.
These do. In fact they’re more than good; as I’ve chosen to call them in the recipe, they’re perfect. You can call that choice over-confidence. I prefer honest. Tomato tomato.
You ready to find out how to make them? It couldn’t be easier.
There are several things that make these the ‘perfect’ butter cookie to me. The flavors are simple, but pronounced: vanilla with hints of a citrus of your choice (I chose orange.) The flavors are also going to improve in the next few days after the cookies are baked. They’re not overly sweet, but if you’re using a good quality butter you’re not going to need them to be.
The texture of these is also what I was going for. I do like soft, cakey cookies but when I want a perfect butter cookie I do prefer it to have a light crispiness. These have got it. If you’d prefer them not to, just take them out earlier.
Lastly, if y’all have been following this blog and seen a good number of my cookie posts before, you know that one of my baking petty peeves is when the cookies spread too much and become warped. I hate that. Because butter cookies are so simple, I like mine to look as clean and neat as possible. The cookies in this recipe hold their shape perfectly which means they’ll work for ANY cutter shape you want to use (hint, they’d make perfect Christmas cookies).
Okay. I think my work here is done. Have a good weekend y’all. Try the cookies–you’ll like ’em. Linking this post up to Fiesta Friday #228.
R.I.P to Anthony Bourdain.
Perfect Butter Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (preferably vanilla bean paste)
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- White sugar, for sprinkling
In a medium bowl combine the flour with the baking powder and set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment (or using a handheld one) cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the egg, orange juice and vanilla and combine until just combined. Add the flour mixture in batches, mixing until just combined.
Scrape the dough out and onto a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into a disc, wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 400F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Divide the dough into quarters, keeping the other 3 in the fridge while you roll out the one.
Sprinkle a clean work surface (like a pastry mat, wax paper or a cutting board) with powdered sugar or flour. Roll out the quarter of dough to your desired thickness (I wouldn’t go thinner than 1/4 inch) Cut into whatever desired shapes you like. I used a 2- to 2 ½-inch round cookie cutter, cut the dough into rounds and placed on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart. I then used a ¾- to 1-inch round cookie cutter, and cut out the centers from half of the cookies. Reroll and cut the scraps as necessary. Also don’t throw away the centers, as they make delicious mini cookie bites.
Place the sheet pans in the freezer for around 10 minutes. Sprinkle the tops with the sugar, and bake for 6-10 minutes. Let cool on pans for 3 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.