If you’re looking for one dough that can do it all, this is it. It’s perfect for pressing into your favorite shapes with cookie cutters or rolling into sugar-dusted domes. Our favorite variation might be the pretty thumbprints, filled with fruit preserves or melted chocolate. The combination of all purpose flour and cornstarch in the dough mimic the effect of cake flour, making for extra tender biscuits. You should probably go ahead and make a batch now, form it into a log and stick in the freezer. That way you’ll have homemade slice and bake cookies ready whenever the carolers come a-calling.
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
Sat fat 2.61g
How to Make It
Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
Beat the sugar and butter with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the oil in a slow stream and beat on medium-low until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla and lemon zest and beat until combined. Add the egg and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually add the flour mixture; beat on low until evenly combined, about 2 minutes. (The dough will be sticky.) Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Using floured hands, divide the dough in half and shape each half into a disk. Wrap each half with plastic wrap and chill until firm, 2 hours.
Cut-Out Cookies: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with 1 disk at a time, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough ¼ inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters; transfer to the baking sheets. Bake until firm when lightly touched, 8 to 10 minutes.
Drop Cookies: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Shape the dough into 40 balls (about 2 teaspoons per ball); toss in granulated sugar. Transfer to the baking sheets and bake until lightly brown around the edges, 12 to 14 minutes.
Thumbprint Cookies: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Shape the dough into 40 balls (about 2 teaspoons per ball); toss in granulated sugar. Transfer to the baking sheets. Gently press in the centers with your thumb. Fill the centers with ¼ teaspoon preserves or jam. Bake until lightly brown around the edges, 12 to 14 minutes.
Slice-and-Bake Cookies: Before chilling, shape each half of the dough into a 10-inch log. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill until firm, 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. If desired, roll the logs in decorative sugar. Cut the logs into ½-inch slices. Transfer to the baking sheets and bake until firm when lightly touched, 8 to 10 minutes.
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