Monday, December 21, 2009
I'm giving Paula Deen and Ina Garten a run for the money in the butter department with this post. A couple of years ago, I took a holiday baking class at the Midwest Culinary Institute in Cincinnati. The teacher was one of the former owners of the Virgina Bakery. The Virginia Bakery was a Cincinnati institution on Ludlow Avenue in Clifton for many years. Sadly, it closed in 2000. This recipe was one of the recipes we learned to make. I like this recipe because it yields a large amount of cookie dough and I get to measure flour and sugar with my kitchen scale. Measuring with a scale is much more precise than measuring with measuring cups. Plus it is an excuse to acquire another kitchen gadget. This butter cookie has a wonderful, rich buttery taste. Great for your holiday party tray.
The recipe yields a whopping four pounds of cookie dough. I have no idea how many cookies you will get out of this recipe - it depends on the size and shape of the cookies you roll and cut out. The dough freezes well, so you could make a batch of this to have on hand for upcoming holiday events. Just divide it up and freeze it.
1 pound butter (4 sticks, unsalted butter, at room temperature)
1 pound sugar
2 t. vanilla
1 pound, 8 oz. all purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
With a kitchen scale, weigh out the dry ingredients. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar at low speed for 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times during this process. Beat in two eggs and the vanilla.
Sift in the dry ingredients, one cup at a time until combined. Be careful, do not overmix the dough.
At this point, you can immediately roll the dough out and bake it. I prefer to shape the dough into a ball and refrigerate until chilled.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, roll the dough out onto a floured surface and cut into shapes. Roll the dough about 1/8" thick. I like to roll out a small amount of dough and cut out 4 -5 cookies at a time. Bake at 350 for approximately 10- 12 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies are light brown. Cool completely and frost as desired. I usually use Martha Stewart's royal icing recipe or a milk fondant icing to dip the cookies in.
The dough freezes well and will keep in the freezer for up to 8 weeks.