Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large bowl or in a food mixer
the butter until soft. Add the sugar
, and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
in the flour, and spices
, if using, or grated zest, if using, and bring the mixture together to form the dough.
Using your hands, roll the dough into walnut-size balls, and place them slightly apart on an ungreased baking tray. Flatten the balls slightly with the back of a damp fork, and bake in the oven until they are light golden brown and slightly firm on top, about 13 to 15 minutes.
Carefully transfer the cookies
to a wire rack to cool.
Poppy seed: Add 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds
to the flour.
: Add the finely grated zest of 1 lemon to the flour.
Orange: Add the finely grated zest
of 1 orange to the flour.
White chocolate and orange: Dip the tops of the orange
cookies in 50 grams (2 ounces) melted white chocolate, and then let set on parchment or waxed paper.
, mixed spice, ginger: Add 1 teaspoon of a ground spice to the flour.
and dark chocolate
: Add 2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger to the flour. When the cookies are baked and cooled, dip the tops in 2 ounces melted dark chocolate, and then let set on parchment or waxed paper.
Double chocolate chip: Use 9 ounces all-purpose flour, and add 2 ounces sifted cocoa powder
to the flour. Bring the dough together and mix in 4 1/2 ounces dark or white chocolate chips.
White chocolate and dried cranberry
: Add 1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
to the flour. When the cookies are baked and cooled, dip the tops in 2 ounces melted white chocolate and let set on parchment or waxed paper.