Adapted from Cookie Craft.
1 c. Butter, unsalted
3/4 c. Brown sugar
2 tsp Vanilla extract
2 3/4 c. All purpose flour
1/2 tsp Salt
[Note-1: If you are not decorating with sugar sprinkles, increase the sugar content to 1 cup.]
[Note-2: I have made this recipe using white granulated sugar instead of brown sugar. The cookies were lighter in colour and has a gritty crunch to them which adds character to the texture. I liked it. If you are using only white sugar, reduce the flour to 2 1/2 cups; the 2 3/4 cups makes a crumbly dough and it's harder to work with.]
[Note-3: Substitute the vanilla extract with 1 vanilla bean for the great vanilla flavour.]
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
Brown the butter over the stovetop and transfer to another mixing for cooling.
Once the butter is no longer hot to touch, beat in the brown sugar until all the lumps are gone.
Add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth.
[Note-3: If using vanilla bean, split the pod down the middle with a sharp pointy knife, scrape out the seeds and add to the wet ingredient.]
Whisk together the flour and salt. Slowly beat into the butter mixture.
Divide the cookie dough into 4 portions. Take one portion and roll it between two sheets of wax paper until it's about 1/4"thick. Chill in the fridge for 15-20 min until firm. Repeat with the other 3 cookie doughs.
Once the rolled cookie dough is firm enough to handle, cut out the shapes with your favourite cookie cutter. Transfer the cutout cookies onto the prepared cookie sheet and decorate with sprinkles.
Bake for 8-10 min until the bottom is slightly golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool for a few minute before transferring to a cooling rack.
Baked cookies can be store in air-tight containers for several weeks.
Make 36 mini cut-out cookies.
Of all the recipes I've tried over the years, these are by far my favourite cut-out sugar cookies. This dough was easy to work with and the resulting cookies had the perfect crunch. I didn't make these overly sweet because I like my sugar cookies this way. But feel free to play around with the sugar content to suit your taste.
I am planning on baking another batch of these cookies for Christmas. I think this time, I'll throw in a vanilla bean to boost the vanilla flavour. (Done! recipe updated.) I also found an eggnog spiced cookie I think I may try as well. The nice thing about this recipe is that it is a great basic cookie recipe. You can tweak it in many ways and produce all sorts of different flavoured cookies!