Cardamom Butter Cookies

2 1/2 cups AP flour
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 tsp table salt
1-2 tsp ground cardamom
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp cream cheese

In bowl of standing mixer fitted with flat beater, mix flour, sugar, salt, and cardamom on low speed until combined, about 5 seconds. With mixer running on low, add butter 1 piece at a time; continue to mix until mixture looks crumbly and slightly wet, about 1 minute longer. Add vanilla and cream cheese and mix on low until dough just begins to form large clumps, about 30 seconds.

Remove bowl from mixer; knead dough by hand in bowl for 2 to 3 turns to form large cohesive mass. Turn out dough onto countertop; divide in half, pat into two 4-inch disks, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate until they begin to firm up, 20 to 30 minutes. (Can be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 2 weeks; defrost in refrigerator before using.)

Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out 1 dough disk to even 1/8-inch thickness between 2 large sheets parchment paper; slide rolled dough on parchment onto baking sheet and chill until firm, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, repeat with second disk.

Working with first portion of rolled dough, cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters (or pizza cutters or knives, if you’re not going for anything fancy) and place shapes on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until light golden brown, about 10 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking time. Repeat with second portion of rolled dough. (Dough scraps can be patted together, chilled, and re-rolled once.) Cool cookies on wire rack.

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