Basic butter cookies
1.In a small bowl, beat butter and sifted sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Transfer mixture to large bowl; stir in flour, in two batches.
2.Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide dough in half; roll each half into a 25cm log. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm.
3.Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease oven trays; line with baking paper.
4.Using a sharp knife, cut logs into 1cm slices; place slices on trays about 2cm apart.
5.Bake cookies about 10 minutes or until browned lightly. Transfer cookies onto wire rack to cool.
6.Chocolate and hazelnut: Beat cocoa powder into butter and sugar mixture, then stir in hazelnuts and finely chopped choc bits before adding the flour.
7.Dried cranberry: Stir dried cranberries into butter and sugar mixture.
8.Vanilla: Beat vanilla extract into butter and sugar mixture.
9.Lemon: Beat finely grated lemon rind into butter and sugar mixture.
10.Orange: Beat finely grated orange rind into butter and sugar mixture.
Check the cookies a few minutes before the end of baking time if they feel a little soft, but firm, give one cookie a gentle push with the side of your thumb. A cooked cookie will slide easily on the tray. The cookies will become crisp on cooling.Note