Makes 36 medium cookies
all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for the work surface
(2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
pure vanilla extract
Coarse sanding sugar or turbinado sugar (optional)
- Heat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated (the dough will be stiff). Shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
- On a floured surface, roll the dough to ¼ inch thick. Using cookie cutters, cut into shapes. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 1½ inches apart. Sprinkle with the sanding sugar, if using.
- Bake until just beginning to brown at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.