Create 20 different cookie recipes

This simple, buttery cookie dough can carry a wide range of holiday flavors, from nutty to herbal to sweet.

MAKES 16 cookies
TIME: 1 and a half hours


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. coarse sugar (sometimes called sparkling sugar)*
  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Mix flour, butter, granulated sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand or hand mixer on low speed until just blended. Increase speed to medium and mix until dough is no longer crumbly and just comes together.

  2. Press dough evenly into a 9-in. round cake pan. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.

  3. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Cut still-warm shortbread with a fork, tines down, into 16 wedge-shape pieces with shaggy edges. Cool completely, then invert pan onto a work surface and carefully separate cookies.
Make ahead: Up to 5 days. Store airtight up to 1 week.

*Find coarse sugar in the baking aisle.

PER COOKIE 189 Cal., 54% (103 cal.) from fat; 1.7 g protein; 12 g fat (7.3 g sat.); 20 g carbo (0.4 g fiber); 38 mg sodium; 31 mg chol.

Raspberry window shortbreads:
Prepare Shortbread (recipe precedes) through step 1, form into a disk, and chill 30 minutes.

  1. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough 1/8 in. thick. Use a selection of 11/2-in. decorative cutters to cut as many shapes as you can, making sure you have an equal number of each shape to form a top and a bottom, and rerolling scraps as needed.

  2. Arrange cookies 1 in. apart on baking sheets. Use a variety of smaller cutters to remove center from half of cookies (the tops). Chill on sheets 15 minutes; then bake until light golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool.

  3. Spread each whole cookie with about 1/2 tsp. raspberry preserves.

  4. Sprinkle powdered sugar over cut-out cookie tops, or glaze them with a mixture of 1 cup powdered sugar and 21/2 tsp. milk. Set tops on jam-topped bottoms. Makes 26.
For more simple cookie dough recipes, check out Sunset Magazine's holiday cookie issue:
>> More cookie recipes


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