First off in a large mixing bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together.
Add pieces of the butter to the dry ingredients and work through with your hands and fingers until you are left with what looks like rough breadcrumbs.
Whisk the eggs and vanilla, add them to the dry ingredients and work them through the dough as well – with your hands.
At this stage I was thinking that something went wrong. The dough seemed very dry and it’s difficult to get the ingredients to incorporate more. I was tempted to add a little more butter or even a drop or two of water. DON’T ADD ANYTHING.
Cover the dough with cling film and refrigerate for 15 – 20 minutes. Only break off a small piece of dough – big enough to fit in your hands – like the size of a cricket ball when you start to roll.
Start by squeezing and rolling it in your hands, after a while the dough will incorporate all the ingredients and the beautiful soft delicate dough would have formed.
Dust your surface with flour and roll out to about ½ a centimeter think.
Cut with dusted cookie cutters, set on a greased pan and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for about 10 – 15 minutes. It is difficult to say exactly how long they must bake as it depends on the size of your cookie, but after 10 minutes they should start to get a little color on the edges and bottom.
You can add more time if you wish for a light brown cookie. However, I like my cookie paler – it just seems that the dough still has a very delicate texture in the middle.