I have a free subscription to Martha Stewart Living, which might just be my favorite magazine. (I tweeted about the free subscription back when it was available from Rewards Gold – I’ll often do that when there’s a time sensitive deal that won’t be active by the time of Morning Coffee. You can follow me on Twitter here.)
I love to look at all of the lovely crafty things in MSL, which I am unlikely to ever do myself but which are fabulous to behold.
Most of the MSL recipes I’ve made have been good, though once in a while there’s a dud. In the December 2010 issue, I was captivated by the One Basic Dough, 30 Kinds of Cookies feature. The pictures are so much fun, so my saying here that the myriad assortment is colorful and captivating just doesn’t do it justice.
I’ve never liked sugar cookies much, but I made the Basic Vanilla Dough and I’m a fan. You can treat it like a regular sugar cookie dough, so refrigerate and then roll it out and then use cookie cutters. I left it in the fridge overnight and found it was too firm to roll. If I’d had time, I would have let it soften, but instead I sliced them and cut stars out of the center. The dough makes beautiful icebox cookies too.
Martha Stewart’s Basic Vanilla Cookie Dough
December 2010 Martha Stewart Living
3 cups all-purpose flour (I used unbleached)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder (omit if making thumbprint, ball or spritz cookies)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture and beat until combined.
At this point, I rolled my dough into a log, wrapped it in plastic wrap, and parked it in the fridge. I would recommend making two logs or discs before refrigerating the dough. Bake at 350 degrees for 14 to 16 minutes or until very lightly browned at edges.
You can refrigerate the dough overnight or freeze for up to one month.