Recipe by Michelle Branch
Photo by: Jim Franco
2 cup sifted flour
½ tsp salt
1 cup butter (no substitutes!)
½ cup superfine sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1½ tsp vanilla extract and ½ tsp almond extract—so good)
Your preferred jam or other filling
½ cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
Sift together 2 sifted cups flour and ½ tsp salt; set aside. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add extract(s). Slowly mix in flour, ½ cup at a time, until just blended. Chill dough for 1 to 2 hours. If you find the dough is too crumbly & not coming together, just beat it a little longer (with an electric hand or stand mixer) and you will get a creamy, light smooth texture.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Meanwhile, quickly shape dough into 1-inch balls, and space them 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Make a deep thumbprint in the center of each; fill with preferred jam or chocolate.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until cookies are the color of pale sand. Transfer to wire cooling racks.
When cooled, dust with confectioners’ sugar. Pack in tins for gifts or serve to holiday guests.
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