Unsalted butter 200g
Caster sugar 280g
Vanilla Extract 1/4 tsp.
Plain flour x400g
Pinch of salt
Cream of tartar 1/2 tsp.
Royal Icing (optional)
Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas Mark 5
Put the butter, sugar* and vanilla extract in a bowl and mix together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Add the flour, salt and cream of tartar,** being careful not to over mix. The dough should be light, soft and easy to handle.
Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and roll out the dough with a rolling pin. (I usually sprinkle a little flour on the rolling pin too, to avoid the dough sticking). Cut out shapes with your choice of cookie cutters and place them on a baking tray with greaseproof paper. (Optional: Use a pastry brush to base the unbaked cookies with milk for a slightly golden colour).
Bake for 10-12 mins, regularly checking that they don’t burn. The cookies should be light and golden on the outer edges and paler in the centre. Leave to cool on a rack before either decorating with royal icing sugar or sprinkling with dry icing sugar.
*I usually reduce the sugar quantity by 80-100g and it still tastes sweet enough.
**Cream of tartar can be found in the baking aisle, along side baking soda (powder).