Published in: Everyday Food
Publish Date: December, 2008

2 sticks unsalted butter -- room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy. Add yolks, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each
addition. Add vanilla. With mixer on low, add flour; mix just until combined. Wrap in plastic; chill until firm, about 1 hour. To make ahead:
Refrigerate up to 2 weeks, or freeze up to 3 months.

Citrus or Spice:
Whisk 1 tablespoon grated lemon, lime, or orange zest (or a combination), or 1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice into the flour before adding it to the
butter mixture.

Sanding Sugar:
This sparkly, crunchy sugar (available in many colors) can be sprinkled on Pretzel, Icebox, or Drop Cookies.

Candied Ginger:
Chopped finely, this zesty, sweet treat makes a creative topping for Pretzel or Drop Cookies, or coating for Icebox Cookies.

Chocolate Chunks:
For a quick hit of chocolate, break up a bar into bite-size morsels, and press into center of Thumbprint Cookies, or melt for dipping Drop Cookies.

Shredded Coconut:
Coconut adds a tropical note to Icebox Cookies and can be sprinkled on Pretzel or Drop Cookies.

Use chopped nuts on Pretzel, Icebox, or Drop Cookies; press pecan or walnut halves, or whole almonds, into center of Thumbprint Cookies.

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