2 cups butter -- softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With an electric mixer (even the hand-held kind), cream together butter and sugar. Add egg yolks and vanilla and mix well. Sift flour and salt together and beat into butter mixture until well mixed. When ready to bake use an ungreased cookie sheet and place cookies 1 inch apart. Bake for about 10 minutes, but do not brown them. Remove cookies from cookie sheet while still warm and cool on sheets of waxed paper. Decorate, if you like. Makes 6 to 8 dozen. Taste fabulous!
Candy Canes: Divide 3 cups of dough in half. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons red food coloring to one half. Using about a tablespoon of dough, roll a 4 inch strip of each color (no fatter than a pencil). Place the two colored rolls side-by-side and press lightly together. Gently twist like a rope and place on ungreased cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Curve the top like a candy cane and bake about 10 minutes; do not brown. You can sprinkle with crushed peppermint candy.
Rolled Cookies: Shape dough into rolls with width of a cookie. Wrap in waxed paper and chill. Before baking, roll in chocolate shots. Slice 1/2 inch thick and bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 10 minutes; do no brown.
Stars, Hearts, Circles and Jelly-Filled: Fill a pastry bag with unchilled dough and put through a 'star tip' (sizes 2 and 7 - 9). Squeeze onto cookie sheet into the shapes you like. For instance, make star, then fill baked cookie center with red jelly. Decorate these cookies with cinnamon hearts, mini chocolate morsels, color sugar, little silver balls, or frosting from a tube. Bake them, same as others. Do not brown.
Cookie Cutter Cookies: Chill dough. Roll out onto lightly floured board to thickness of 1/2 inch. Cut with cookie cutters and bake as mentioned above. Decorate your own way.
Plain Old Drop Cookies: Just drop unchilled dough by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Don't brown. Remove from pans immediately.
MC Formatted by Brenda Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>; mc and Bakery-Shoppe posted 5/16/97