2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (note)
¾ cup sugar
2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Frosting and garnish
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons milk
1 peppermint candy cane
3 tablespoons white sanding sugar
For the dough: In medium bowl whisk flour and salt. Set aside.
In medium mixing bowl beat butter and sugar on medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Do not over mix. Add vanilla extract and mix 15 on low speed. Scrape bowl well. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until mixture becomes sandy, about 45 seconds.
Using damp hands, press mixture into dough ball. Divide into two disks and cover each tightly with plastic wrap. Chill 2 hours or overnight before rolling.
When ready to bake: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Roll dough about ⅛-inch thick and chill 10 minutes before cutting with snowflake cutters. Place 1½ inches apart on prepared baking sheets. If dough feels soft, chill cookies on pan for 10 minutes before baking.
Bake cookies 10-12 minutes, depending upon size and thickness of cookies. Cool on pans 10 minutes before removing with large spatula to cooling rack.
To frost and decorate: In small bowl, whisk powdered sugar, butter and milk until smooth. Add drops of milk if frosting feels too stiff. Spoon into piping bag or zip lock bag with corner snipped off. Set aside.
Place candy cane in zip lock back and tightly seal. With rolling pin crush into fine pieces. Put fine pieces in small cup and stir with sanding sugar. Frost cookies and sprinkle with peppermint sugar mixture and allow to dry, about 1 hour before serving or storing.
Makes about 30 large cookies.
Baker's hint: Butter should feel firm, yet soft enough to make indentation when pressed.
@Recipe nutrition:Nutrition values per serving: 152 calories; 7 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 22 g carbohydrates, trace amount fiber, 1 g protein, 18 mg cholesterol, 38 mg sodium.