Festive Cookies the Whole Family Will Love

Cookies are the most amazing treat, especially for Christmas – the time of the year when we don’t mind a sugar overindulgence! They taste great and look sensational. So, do invest in a set of festive cookie cutters that will make imaginative treats year after year. Once the cookies are baked you can either enjoy as they are, or you and your children can go crazy and decorate with lots and lots of colorful icing. But, first you need a failproof cookie recipe, one that produces the most delicious results and keeps the shape when baked. We’ve searched high and low, tasted near and far, and are delighted to reveal our favorite recipe - the Vanilla Cutout Cookies That Don’t Spread, as discovered on www.bakingamoment.com

Prep time, 20 mins. Cook time, 9-12 mins. Makes around 30 servings, depending on the size of your cutter.

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) cubed, cold
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon  salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (optional)


Instructions

* Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and line baking sheets with parchment.
* Cream the butter and sugar, just until smooth and combined.
* Mix in the eggs until incorporated.
 *Add the flour, cornstarch, and salt, and mix on medium-low speed.  The mixture will seem very dry and sandy at first, but after 3 to 5 minutes in the mixer it will gather itself into a ball and pull away cleanly from the sides of the bowl. (Note, If you live in a very dry environment, or if you don't have a very powerful mixer, you may not need all the flour. Add about 1/2 cup at a time, and stop adding when the dough gathers itself into a ball and pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl.)
*Stir in the vanilla. (If you do not have an electric stand mixer with a paddle attachment, you may have to knead the dough by hand to fully bring it together.)
*Roll the dough out between 2 sheets of parchment paper, to a thickness of 1/4 inch.
*Cut into shapes, and bake for 9 to 12 minutes.
*Cool completely, then decorate.