The following is absolutely the best butter cookie anyone will ever make. That's the truth. I've tried others all along, just to see - not the same.
A friend from church, Peggy Weaver, brought these cookies to me when Kate was born - a plate of them. I had to have the recipe and she very gladly gave it to me - had been in the family for some time and she'd made them always for her children and grandchildren.
So - here we are.
1 lb. (4 sticks) real butter( I use Land O Lakes, salted)
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
dash ginger (optional)
400 degrees - 10-12 minutes
For cookies of any kind, I never ever use my mixer. I find that it beats the dough too fine and they go flat when cooking. Bring the butter to room temp so it's soft - and cream sugar and butter - mixing together by hand. Stir in one egg and the vanilla. Mix as well as you can with your hand. Stir in the flour and baking powder. I realize this is a bit difficult - especially for my arthritic hands.
I get all of the dough into a good ball or even a log of dough. I use Saran wrap or wax paper to do this so that my hand prints won't be in it and the surface will be smooth. Wrap it up and place in refrigerator and let get hard. This dough can be sliced from, just as it is - that's the easy part - or - you can take portions of it - and let get a bit softer and roll out to use cookie cutters.
Keep an eye on them in the oven - some people like the edges to get rather brown - others like the cookies softer than that - so you determine your own time.
I think I've said this before. I love the new nonstick alum foil - I put that over my cookie sheet and bake the cookies - no cleaning of those awkward cookie sheets. I don't like washing cookie sheets or muffin tins.