Cream the butter (which has been brought to room temperature) until soft. Add all of the sugar and mix well until light-colored.
Add the egg and vanilla essence and mix well. Sift in the dry ingredients.
Fold in with a rubber spatula until the mixture looks crumbly. Then press with the spatula to bring the dough together.
When the dough becomes firm like the top picture, use your hands to knead it or put it in a Ziploc bag and squeeze.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Chocolate dough: sift in the cocoa together with the dry ingredients in Step 3.
After 15 minutes, take out the chilled dough. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to any thickness you like and cut out the cookies. Bake for 10-15 minutes in an oven preheated to 180ºC. They're done!
Make cute cookies using cookie cutters of all different shapes and try decorating the cookies with icing or chocolate.
After cutting out the cookies, you could roll the extra dough into balls of any size to make snowball cookies.
I chopped a chocolate bar and mixed it into the plain cookie dough to make chocolate chip cookies. Form into a cylinder shape, freeze, and cut into slices.
If the dough softens too much and it's hard to cut out the cookies, letting the dough rest briefly in the freezer right after you roll it out will make it easier.
Story Behind this Recipe
I mixed in some cornstarch to make these cookies crispier.
This recipe makes a large amount of dough, so you could make half the cookies and freeze the rest of the dough. You can increase or decrease the sugar and butter in equal amounts to change the sweetness.