Servings: Makes 1 (9-inch) piecrust, 25–30 cookies, or 6–8 tartlets
Stir together flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. If making chocolate dough, also add cocoa.
Use a pastry blender or a fork to cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-size bits of butter throughout. (Or combine dry ingredients in a food processor, then pulse in butter.)
Drizzle in 1 to 2 tablespoons of ice water at a time (up to 6 tablespoons total), tossing after each addition, and using only enough water to make dough clump together when squeezed. Add vanilla (if using).
Pat dough into a 4-inch circle, tightly cover with plastic wrap or parchment, and chill for 30 minutes or up to 2 days (or freeze for up to 3 months). See each recipe above for baking instructions.
From the November 2009 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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