Basic Dough

Basic Dough
Yield: about 36 cookies Start to Finish 40 mins


  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups flour

Make It

1. With a mixer on medium, cream the butter and sugar until they're fluffy, about 30 seconds. Add the vanilla extract (and almond extract, if you're using it) and mix for another 10 seconds until the extract is incorporated. Add the salt and flour. Set the mixer to low and blend for a few seconds, then increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is well combined, about 30 seconds. If needed, add water a teaspoon at a time until the dough comes together.

2. Form the dough into two balls and flatten them a bit so that they're about 1 1/2 inches thick. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate it for 30 minutes, or freeze it for 15 minutes.