This is the classic dough for cookie presses. Most cookie baking grandmothers make the dough ahead of time and let their grandchildren concentrate on learning to press small Christmas trees through the cookie press. Dough can also be pressed through the star shaped plate to form wreathes. Walnut-sized balls of dough can also be rolled between the palms to form cylinders that, when the top quarter is curved, can become candy canes. These cookies are best iced with red and white strips after baking.
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg yolk and salt. Stir in the flour.
2. Transfer the dough to a cookie press or a pastry bag fitted with a large star-shape tube. Pipe out circles of dough that are a little more than an inch in diameter.
3. Bake on greased baking sheets until lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool briefly before transferring to cool sheet pans.
Yield: About 48 cookies.