Yield: 26 cookies, depending on size of cookie mold
1 cup King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour (dip and sweep measuring cup into flour, then level with the flat-end of a knife
½ cup salted butter, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla, optional
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
Heat the oven to 325 F. Position oven rack to lower third of oven.
With an electric mixer set to medium speed, cream the butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Turn mixer off and sift confectioners’ sugar over butter. With speed set to low, mix sugar with butter until it is well blended. Add flour gradually and continue to beat just until all the flour is incorporated into the creamed mixture. (Do not overmix. Doing so will introduce too much air into the mixture, causing your cookies to “puff,” which will distort the shape of your cookies.)
For ease of handling, place the bowl and dough in the refrigerator, and chill for 15 minutes. While the dough is chilling, brush cookie mold lightly with vegetable oil, wiping out excess with a tea towel. (Do not use a paper towel as paper fibers may settle into the crevices of the mold.)
Once dough is chilled, pinch off a scant 2 teaspoons of dough from the dough ball, placing it into each well of the cookie mold. Using your fingertips, evenly press the dough into mold. (The dough should fill the mold about halfway.)
Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes or until pale golden brown around the edges. Remove mold from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before gently removing cookies from mold. (I do this by carefully coaxing each cookie out of the mold by inserting a small wooden skewer or toothpick under one corner of the cookie and then gently lifting it out of the mold. If the cookie is too soft to allow removal from the mold without breaking, let the cookies cool a few minutes more in the mold.)
Place cookies that have been removed from the mold onto the wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in a tightly sealed cookie tin for up to 1 week.