I love tea cookies (also known as butter cookies). They are my go-to cookie, since I can make them with what I usually have on hand. They are simple to make and take only a few ingredients. They are light and have just the right amount of sweetness. I made a big batch yesterday while Little W was napping and they turned out great. Now I have something to snack on with my morning Earl Grey.
3 3/4 cup of unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon of salt
3 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter (I usually have salted and it is fine, just cut back some of the added salt)
1 1/4 cup of powdered sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla
Mix flour and salt lightly in a large bowl. Put all of your softened butter in another large bowl and mix until light and fluffy (I use a pastry blender and it works well). Add the sugar and vanilla and mix it until combined. Add the flour in about 3 increments, each time mixing with a spoon (I use my hands by the last bit of flour) until combined. Then make it a nice ball and wrap it in plastic and put it back into the bowl and in the fridge for about 45 minutes – 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take out your dough ball. You want your dough to be cool but not so hard that you can’t roll it out. Dust everything with flour and take a good chunk out of your dough ball to work with. Wrap the rest of the dough back up and put it back in the fridge (the dough warms pretty quickly). You want to roll it out to about 1/4 of an inch in thickness. Cut the dough in your desired shape. Then place the dough on your cookie sheet. (You might want to use a metal spatula to transfer the cut dough.) The dough will not spread or rise so you can put them pretty close together. I can get about 18 good sized round cookies on a sheet. If you want to put sugar on top of them do it now. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, let sit for a minute or so and then put them on a wire rack to cool. The finished cookies will be light and a bit crumbly. Continue with dough until you have used it all.