This is a recipe we have been using in our family for quite a while. These cookies are buttery and crumbly. Very simple and great to use for coffee or tea. And there are so many variations for them, they are amazingly versatile! You can substitute the butter with coconut butter and make them dairy free / vegan! Or use the dough as a crust for lemon squares. Even a pie crust. Or add your favorite nuts (pecans, cashews, etc) or chocolate chips to give the cookies some pizazz. Add lemon extract for lemon cookies. You can even make indents with your thumb and fill them with jam. Roll the dough out and cut into shapes, then decorate as Christmas cookies. Or dip half of them in chocolate to make delicious "black and whites". Anything you like, really!
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until they are just combined and then add the vanilla. Separately, sift together the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together.
**At this point, you can add nuts, chocolate chips or lemon extract to the mixture, if you want.
Dump dough on a flat surface and roll together into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. If you have a scale they should each weigh 1 ounce. You can also form the dough into a 1.5-inch-wide log and cut into 3/4 inch slices (or freeze the log to cut and bake later). Place the balls (or slices) on an ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.
Bake for 20 to 25. Cool on wire rack and serve.