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- 21/2 cups all-purpose white flour, sifted after measuring
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 tbsp sugar, for topping
- In a large bowl, stir together flour and baking powder.
- In another large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until well blended.
- Beat in egg yolks, then the salt and vanilla, until evenly incorporated.
- Gradually beat or stir in the flour mixture to form a smooth dough.
- Divide the dough in half.
- Place each portion between large sheets of wax paper.
- Roll out each portion 1/8 inch thick; check the underside of the dough and smooth out any wrinkles that form.
- Stack the rolled portions (paper still attached) on a baking sheet.
- Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or until cold and firm, or freeze for about 15 minutes to speed the chilling.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Grease several baking sheets or coat with nonstick spray.
- Working with one portion at a time and leaving the remaining dough chilled, gently peel away, then pat one sheet of wax paper back into place.
- Flip the dough over, then peel off and discard the second sheet.
- Using assorted 2 1/2-to-3-inch cutters, cut out the cookies.
- Transfer the cookies to the baking sheets, spacing about 1 1/4 inches apart.
- Sprinkle the cookies with the sugar or colored sugar.
- Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in the upper third of the oven for 8
to 11 minutes, or until lightly colored on top and slightly darker at the edges.
- Reverse the sheet from front to back halfway through baking to ensure even browning.
- Let stand until completely cooled.
Tags: baking powder, butter, egg yolks, flour, salt, sugar, vanilla extract