Servings: Makes 1 (9-inch) piecrust, 25–30 cookies, or 6–8 tartlets
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. cocoa , preferably Dutch-processed (for chocolate dough only)
  • 12 Tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter , cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
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.