Aunt Lisl’s Butter Cookies

Aunt Lisl’s Butter Cookies, adapted from Joan Nathan’s Jewish Holiday Cookbook

2 sticks unsalted butter or pareve margarine
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon brandy or water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg white, slightly beaten
Blue sugar (see below; optional)

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs (one at a time), brandy, vanilla, and salt. Beat well.

2. Gradually add the flour, mixing well. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough 1/8 inch thick. Keep the remaining dough chilled while working. Cut with the desired cookie cutters, dipping the cutter into flour between cuts to prevent sticking. Transfer the cutouts to ungreased cookie sheets. Brush the cutouts with egg white and lightly sprinkle with blue sugar. Repeat with remaining dough.

4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are golden. Remove and cool on wire racks.

Blue sugar: Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 2 or 3 drops blue food coloring in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake until combined. Or mix together in a jar 1/2 teaspoon water and 2 or 3 drops blue food coloring. Add 1/2 cup pearl sugar and shake well.

Yield: about 4 dozen cookies

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