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Valentine Day Cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled,
plus more for shaping the cookies
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Step 1
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Step 2
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.

Step 3
With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated (the dough will be stiff). Shape into a disk and (unless otherwise specified in an individual recipe) refrigerate, wrapped, for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

Step 4
make cutout cookies by doing the following: Heat oven to 350° F. On a floured surface, roll out each disk ¼ inch thick. Cut into shapes and place on parchment-lined baking sheets; refrigerate until firm. Sprinkle with decorating sugar, if using, and bake until just beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

Step 5
Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week