Makes 8 to 10 cookies
- FOR DOUGH
- 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, for decorating
- FOR DECORATING
- 1 large egg white
- 1 teaspoon water
- Sanding sugar
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, and beat until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Add reserved flour mixture, and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla. Wrap dough in plastic, and refrigerate for about 45 minutes.
- Make cookie pattern and heart stencil while wrapped dough is chilling. For the pattern, have your child trace his or her hand on a manila file folder, and cut out the tracing. You will lay this on the dough and trace around it with the tip of a paring knife. For the heart stencil, cut a heart shape from a piece of parchment paper, discarding center.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On a well-floured work surface, roll out cold dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out hand shapes. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. Dough scraps may be re-rolled twice.
- To decorate the cookies with sanding sugar hearts, lay the heart stencil over a cookie. Combine the egg white with the water in a small bowl. Brush the egg wash in the heart, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Lift stencil and repeat with remaining cookies. Bake until edges just begin to brown lightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cookies cool on pans for 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.