Be sure to read my pro-tips at the end of this recipe to ensure a successful baking experience!
6 cups, all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons fresh baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-2 inch chunks
2 cups white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons good-quality Madagascar or Bourbon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon good quality lemon or almond extract (optional)
1 lemon, zested (optional)
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl using your hand beater, cream the cold butter with the sugar until light and fluffy and sugar crystals are melted and dissolved. About 2-3 minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time- beating in between each addition. Add the extracts. Mix well.
In an additional medium-sized bowl, stir with a whisk or fork to incorporate the baking powder and salt well throughout the flour.
Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in two or three batches- mixing slowly until incorporated and dough comes together.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and quickly, by hand – knead until dough forms a ball. Flatten and shape into a large 1/4 – 1/2 thick inch large square. Cut with a knife into quarters and individually wrap air-tight in plastic wrap. Chill for a minimum of 1 hour, up to 10 days.
Pro Tip :
Always work quickly with this dough to maintain a manageable temperature. If the dough becomes too warm it will stick. Continue to keep dough cold, by working only with the portion you need, and keeping the remaining dough in the refrigerator.
Lightly dust all work surfaces and tools with flour.
Preheat oven to 350’F degrees. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove and cool on a rack.
Bake on a cooled prepared baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
This dough is butter-based and will move shapes. To prevent moving cut-outs roll the dough directly onto the back of the silicone mat on a baking sheet and make sure the dough is cold before applying the shape cutter. Remove the excess dough in between the shapes and never worry about moving the perfect cut shapes again. Bake, but be sure to not let baked cookies fly off the side of the inverted baking sheet when removed from the oven. The upside-down sheet is awkward until you get a handle on it. I also pull the Silpat off the hot sheet pan into a cool surface to allow the pan to cool off.