Makes 36 to 48 cookies (depending on size of cutters)
(1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
pure vanilla extract
all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
6 to 8
assorted fruit-flavored hard candies, such as sour balls or Life Savers—unwrapped, sorted by color, and crushed (about 1 cup total)
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes; beat in the egg, vanilla, and salt. Reduce speed to low and add the flour, mixing just until combined (do not overmix).
- Divide the dough in half, shape into two disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours.
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- On a lightly-floured surface, roll out each piece of dough to an ⅛-inch thickness. Using 2- to 2 ½-inch cookie cutters, cut the dough into shapes and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart. Using a ¾- to 1-inch cookie cutter, cut out the centers from each cookie. Reroll and cut the scraps as necessary.
- Spoon ½ to 1 teaspoon of the crushed candy (depending on the size of the cutout) into the center of each cookie. Bake until just golden at the edges, 7 to 9 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
- Store the cookies, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.