2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners or grease generously with butter or cooking spray. With a pastry brush, lightly coat a cookie stamp with a neutral-tasting vegetable oil, such as canola, or mist it with cooking spray.
Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium-low speed until combined. Add the flour and salt and mix on low speed until just thoroughly combined. (Don’t overmix here or the cookies can be tough.) Using a 1 1/4-inch scoop, drop the dough on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Stamp each dough ball firmly enough to make an imprint, but don’t press so hard that the cookie flattens to less than 1/4-inch thick. Bake until the cookies begin to look golden brown around the edges, about 10 minutes.
Reprinted with permission from Pastry Queen Parties: Entertaining Friends and Family, Texas Style by Rebecca Rather with Alison Oresman, copyright © 2009. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.