Christmas butter cookies are delicious and perfect for decorating for the holidays! Make a batch, decorate them with the kids and offer some as gifts!
Whisk the salt into the flour.
In a large mixer bowl (with the paddle attachment), cream together the butter and sugar at medium-high speed (about 2 to 3 minutes).
Reduce the mixer to medium speed and add one egg at-a-time.
Add the vanilla and lemon zest and mix for 1 minute.
Lower the mixer to the lowest speed and slowly add the flour to the mixture.
Mix for about 5 minutes, until the dough ingredients are full incorporated.
Using your (clean) hands, divide the cookie dough in half and form two dough balls.
Wrap each ball of dough in plastic wrap and press down to form a thick wheel.
Place the dough wheels in the fridge for at least an hour or for up to two days. Note: If you plan on using this dough with a cookie press instead of rolling it out, you can use the dough at the stage and bypass the fridge step.
Preheat the oven to 350 ºF.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove one of the dough wheels from the fridge.
Lightly flour a clean countertop or large cutting board and place the wheel on the flour.
Lightly flour the top of the dough and a rolling pin.
Gently roll out the dough four or five times.
Flour the dough and turn it over.
Lightly flour the top again and roll again.
Repeat the last four steps until the dough is roughly 1/2 cm (0.2 inches) thick.
Use cookie cutter shapes to cut out your cookies and gently place them on the baking sheet (with the parchment paper), a couple of centimetres away from each-other. Note: the dough is very soft and should be handled gently in order to keep the shapes from breaking.
Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 13 minutes.
Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and let them finish cooling for 10 minutes before decorating, storing or eating.
Repeat until all cookies are baked. Enjoy!