Makes about 3 dozen 2 ½ inch cookies
To me, these cookies epitomize what sugar cookies should be. They have a fine-texture crumb that is pleasingly sweet and a lovely buttery flavor. Sparkling sugar crystals on top add a pleasing crackly crunch.
Pan Prep: lightly buttered
Oven Temp: 3500
Chilling time: 1 hour
Baking time” 10-12 minutes
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
- ¾ cup strained confectioners’ sugar, spooned in and leveled
- 2/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg white, lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons water
- Pearl sugar or sparkling white sugar for sprinkling
Place the flour, confectioners’ sugar and butter in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse four or five times to combine, then process for 10 seconds, or until the mixture is the texture of fine meal.
Combine the yolks and vanilla and, with the food processor off, add to the work bowl. Pulse two or three times, then process for 8 to 10 seconds, or just until a mass forms. Empty the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With lightly floured hands, shape into a 6 inch disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 3 days. (The dough may be frozen at this point for up to 1 month.)
Position the shelves in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 3500. Lightly butter the cookie sheets.
Working with one-fourth of the dough at a time, roll on a floured pastry cloth or a lightly floured flat surface until 3/16 inch thick. Using a 2 ½ inch scalloped cookie cutter, cut the cookie from the dough. Transfer the cookies to a sheet of wax paper, brush lightly with the egg wash, and sprinkle with the sparking white sugar or pearl sugar. Place on the cookie sheets and bake for 10 to 12, or until the edges are just golden brown. To ensure even browning, toward the end of baking time rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back. Let rest on the cookie sheets for 2 minutes before loosening with a thin metal spatula. Cool on wire racks.
Storage: Store in airtight container, layered between strips of wax paper, for up to three weeks.