Buttery Brown Sugar Cut Out Cookies
4 cups bleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, brown sugar and vanilla. Add egg and egg tolk and beat until well blended and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually beat in flour mixture, scraping down side of bowl as necessary, until fully incorporated. Divide dough into thirds. Scrape each mound of dough onto a separate sheet of plastic wrap. With lightly floured hands, pat dough out to a 1/2 inch thick disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until dough is well-chilled and firm enough to roll, about 45 minutes to an hour.
Working with one disk of doughh at a time, remove dough from refrigerator. Lightly dust flour on working surface and roll dough to 1/4 inch or just over. Transfer rolled dough to a large baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 10 minutes. Well-chilled dough will yield cookie shapes with well-defined edges.
Working with one piece of rolled dough at a time, lightly flour cookie cutter and cut out to desired shapes. Very carefully, place cutouts at least 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Refrigerate unbaked cookies until firm, about 8 minutes. With a pastry brush, dust excess flour off dough scraps and gently knead into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrpat tightly in plastic wrap and chill before rolling and cutting more shapes.
Bake cookies until the edges are golden brown, about 12-16 minutes depending on their size and thickness.
Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for 3-5 minutes. Using a metal cookie spatula, transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Cookies are ready to decorate when completely cooled. If necessary, store cookies in an airtight container until ready to decorate.