Roll a basic dough into balls and then into six-inch lengths; fashion each into an interesting shape, and bake until crisp.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg white
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until creamy. Mix in vanilla and egg white. Reduce speed to low. Add salt and flour; mix until combined.
Roll dough into 3/4-inch balls. Roll each ball into a 6-inch log. Bend log in half, then twist. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake, rotating halfway through, until cookies just begin to turn golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool on parchment on wire racks.