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Cookie time! This quick recipe makes it easy to offer fresh-baked sweets to holiday guests

By Wolfgang Puck, Tribune Content Agency on

1 1/8 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

8 ounces (250 g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

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Put the butter in the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle or beaters; or in a large mixing bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer fitted with beaters. At medium speed, beat the butter until softened and smooth.

Add 1 cup (250 mL) plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar and continue beating at medium speed; then, when the sugar is fully incorporated, raise the speed to high and continue beating until the mixture is fluffy, stopping the beaters as needed to scrape down the side of the bowl and the beaters with a rubber spatula. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until fully incorporated.

Scrape out the dough onto a clean, lightly floured work surface. With clean hands, form the dough lightly into a ball and wrap well in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 to 3 hours or as long as four to five days.

When ready to bake the cookies, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C). Line one or two baking trays with parchment paper.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon, then spread the mixture on a small, flat plate. With clean hands, pinch off a mound of dough weighing about 1/2 ounce (15 g) each; then, roll it between your palms into a ball about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter; roll the ball in the cinnamon sugar until evenly coated; and place it on the prepared baking tray. Continue the process, placing the balls about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.

When a baking tray is full of dough balls, bake until the cookies have spread and turned golden brown around the edges and slightly firm to a quick, careful fingertip touch, 14 to 15 minutes total time, reversing the trays front to back halfway through for even baking. With a wide spatula, remove the cookies from the trays and transfer to a wire rack to cool. If reusing a baking tray, cool slightly before arranging more balls of dough on it.

Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container at cool room temperature for up to three weeks.



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