Viennese Stamped Butter Cookies
Many butter cookies are firm and fairly thick, but these are fragile and thinnish and have a nice, crisp texture. These are designed to be prepared with cookie stamps, which produce very handsome cookies with lightly embossed tops.
2 1/3 cups all-purpose or unbleached white flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Generously grease several baking sheets. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Place butter in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium sped until light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat until well-blended and smooth. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla and almond extracts. Beat in about half the dry ingredients. Stir in remaining dry ingredients using a large wooden spoon. Set dough aside for about 10 minutes to firm up slightly.
Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into 3/4-inch-diameter balls between the palms. Space on baking sheets about 1 3/4 inches apart. Very lightly grease the surface of each cookie stamp, then dip each stamp in powdered sugar. Carefully tap off any excess sugar from the stamp. Center the stamp over a ball of dough and press down until the dough flattens to about 1/8-inch thick. Carefully lift the stamp from the dough. Stamps do not need to be re-greased but should be dipped in powdered sugar before each use. Continue stamping the balls of dough until all the cookies are formed.
Place in the center of the oven and bake the cookies for 8 to 11 minutes, or until jus barely tinged with brown at the edges. Let stand on baking sheets for 1 to 2 minutes. Then carefully transfer cookies to wire racks using a spatula. Let stand until cooled completely. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 or 4 days. Freeze for longer storage.
Makes 40 to 45 2 1/4” diameter cookies.