These simple butter cookies are a huge hit without being overbearing in flavor. They’re easy to make and go well paired with so many things, particularly over the holidays.
Despite loving the colorful and creative recipes behind things like these patriotic cookies, chocolate chip cookie sandwiches, baby shower cookies, or whatever else I can dream up, sometimes you just need a simple butter cookie recipe.
That crunch, the sugar, the taste of butter in your mouth.
You can’t beat it.
And people have been loving butter cookies for years and around the world.
This recipe is for easy butter cookies, and while it does require chilling, it only needs to be chilled once so you won’t be waiting for hours and hours (though you can chill it overnight if it’s easier and it will give it a deeper flavor).
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These butter cookies are:
- hard on the outside with a softer inside
- mild in flavor and go great with hot drinks like tea or hot chocolate
- perfect for adding mini decorations onto for a special event
- a family favorite and classic recipe
Must-Have Baking Tools (seriously)
- Silicone baking mats – I use this brand and my cookies slide right off without burning!
- a cookie scoop – get this one. It makes the perfect rounded cookies every time!
- silicone spatula – try this set. It’s the best way to get the most out of your dough and batters
- rolling pin guides – I use this one. Genius way to roll your dough out evenly!
Do You Have to Chill Butter Cookies?
You really do need to chill the butter cookie dough after you make it, as this is going to help it hold its shape in the oven.
Chilling helps your dough to not spread when it heats up, and if you don’t chill it, you run the risk of it becoming a thinner and less shaped butter cookie than you might expect.
How Do I Know They’re Done?
You’ll know butter cookies are done when they have the slightest golden brown around the edges.
As with any cookie, I always like to take mine out before they appear completely baked in the oven and leave them on the baking sheet to crisp up before moving them to a wire cooling rack.
Can You Refrigerate Butter Cookies or Butter Cookie Dough?
You can refrigerate butter cookie dough for 3 to 5 days before using it.
If you want to refrigerate your butter cookies, which you don’t have to, you’ll get another week out of them.
However, I prefer butter cookies at room temperature.
Can You Freeze Butter Cookies or Butter Cookie Dough?
Yes, you can freeze both the cookies and the cookie dough, and this is recommended if you’re not going to make the cookies within 3 to 5 days.
You can freeze cookie dough for up to 3 months in an airtight container or wrapped up in saran wrap in the freezer.
Tips for Making Butter Cookies
When you go to cut the butter cookie dough log, make sure you’re using a sharp knife as a dull one is more likely to misshape your cookie.
Another top tip is that if you want these to be for a special event or holiday, you could use colored sugar when rolling the log.
Another tip is that when creaming the butter and sugar, you want it pale and fluffy but not overbeaten.
Don’t keep going until infinity, just make sure you’ve done it thoroughly and the mixture has gotten lighter, maybe 3 to 4 minutes with a regular beater, and then stop.
Ingredients for Butter Cookies
To make butter cookies, you’ll need flour, unsalted butter, sugar, egg yolks (not full eggs), vanilla extract, finer sugar for covering the cookies and salt.
How to Make Butter Cookies
First, combine the flour and salt into a bowl, making sure they are mixed in easily.
In a larger bowl, combine the unsalted butter and sugar.
Cream these together, and then add in your egg yolks and vanilla and mix until combined.
Don’t overbeat the eggs either.
Finally, gradually add the flour mixture until it’s completely mixed in.
On a piece of saran wrap, dump out your dough and roll it into a log.
Put the log into the fridge for about an hour.
When the time is up, pull the log out, unwrap it, and roll it in any excess sugar you want to add to the outsides.
Cut the log into slices, about 1cm or 1/2 inch thick, and put on a baking tray 2 inches apart.
Bake for about 11 minutes at 375, and take out when the edges are turning a light brown.
- 2 and 1/4 cup (306 grams) flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Extra sugar for rolling in
1. First, combine the flour and salt into a bowl, making sure they are mixed in easily.
2. In a larger bowl, combine the unsalted butter and sugar. Cream these together, and then add in your egg yolks and vanilla and mix until combined. Don't overbeat the eggs either.
3. Finally, gradually add the flour mixture until it's completely mixed in.
4. On a piece of saran wrap, dump out your dough and roll it into a log.
5. Put the log into the fridge for about an hour.
6. When the time is up, pull the log out, unwrap it, and roll it in any excess sugar you want to add to the outsides.
7. Cut the log into slices, about 1cm or 1/2 inch thick, and put on a baking tray 2 inches apart.
8. Bake for about 11 minutes at 375 F (190 C), and take out when the edges are turning a light brown.
1. Putting the dough in the fridge is essential to making sure that your final slices are well-presented, so go for more time rather than less time, even chilling overnight if you need to.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 212Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 74mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 2g