Butter Cookie Dough

This recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies

Two dozen snowflakes, two dozen spritz

2 Cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

2 Cups sugar

2 Large eggs

2 Tablespoons vanilla

2 Teaspoons salt 

5 Cups all-purpose flour

Cream the butter and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla and salt. Mix on medium speed until they’re combined. With the mixer on low speed, add flour in two batches, and mix until it’s mixed well. Divide the dough into two equal portions. Place each section on a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or up to a week.

When you are ready to bake:

Snowflakes - Preheat oven to 350°. Roll out one or two disks of dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Using your choice of snowflake cookie cutter (I like the 3-inch one), cut out shapes and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Gather scraps together, and continue to roll out more cookies. Chill for about 10-15 minutes. Bake cookies for about 8-10 minutes, until they are golden brown around the edges. Let cool on baking sheets for a minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. You can then store them in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for several months.

Spritz - Preheat oven to 350°. To the basic sugar dough add a Tablespoon of orange zest. Transfer dough to a cookie press and pipe shapes onto greased baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle with sanding sugar(s). Chill for about 10-15 minutes. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until edges are light brown.