- 2 sticks ( 1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for coating
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- Pinch of salt
- In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter at high speed until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Add the egg yolk, brandy and vanilla and beat until smooth.
- Sift the flour with 3/4 cup of the confectioners' sugar, the baking powder, cloves and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in 3 batches, beating at low speed just until smooth. Scrape the dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper and roll into a 2-inch log. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Line 2 heavy baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap the dough and roll it into a perfect cylinder. Cut it into 3 equal pieces. Slice each piece crosswise into 12 cookies and arrange them on the prepared sheets about 1 inch apart.
- Bake the cookies on the top and middle racks of the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden on the bottom; shift the sheets from top to bottom halfway through baking. Let the cookies cool slightly on the sheets, about 15 minutes.
- Pour confectioners' sugar into a large shallow bowl. Add the warm cookies in batches and heavily coat the tops and sides. Transfer to a sheet of wax paper that has been dusted with confectioners' sugar and let cool.
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