Butter Cookies Recipe

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Butter Cookies are the perfect Christmas cookie recipe, but you can enjoy them any time of year. Whether you pipe them, scoop them, or slice and bake these cookies, they’re melt in your mouth delicious!

Our readers are obsessed with these Shortbread Cookie Bites. All decked out for the holidays! They look beautiful on a plate with Chocolate Fudge! Don’t forget to add a batch of our whipped shortbread cookies too, for some festive flair.

Butter cookies baked and cooling on a rack.

Why You’ll Love This Butter Cookies Recipe

Every year I have a huge list of holiday baking that I want to tackle starting on December 1st. 

Whether I’m making my favorite Sugar CookiesEnglish Toffee, or 7 Layer bars, I’m constantly in the kitchen. 

The hardest part about what I do for a living is that every year my list gets longer. I want to make those traditional cookies I grew up on, like Snowballs and Kolachky cookies, but I also have a list of new cookie recipes I want to create.

Needless to say, everyone we know tends to get a platter of Christmas Candy and Christmas Cookies!

Today’s butter cookie recipe is one of my newest favorites. Here’s why I love it and think you will too:

  • You have options! You can scoop and bake them like you would any other drop cookie recipe, or you can pipe them to make them fancier or chill the dough in a log shape and keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to slice and bake (like these Jingles cookies).
  • There’s no need to chill the dough because they don’t spread!
  • Although butter cookies are a classic for the holidays, you can use different colored sprinkles (or omit the sprinkles) and they’re perfect for any time of year and any occasion!

Regardless of HOW you make them, there’s one thing for sure, you WILL love them. They melt in your mouth like a buttery shortbread, but with a soft, chewy center and crisp edges. SO DELICIOUS.

Important Ingredients

Ingredients needed to make butter cookies.
  • Unsalted butter – This allows you to control the amount of salt in the cookies. Since the butter is the key ingredient here, this is definitely a recipe where you might want to spring for a fancy name brand! Follow our guide on how to soften butter quickly.
  • Egg yolk – An egg yolk adds richness to the dough.
  • Vanilla extract and almond extract – A combination of vanilla and almond extract is common in sugar and butter cookie recipes. You can use extra vanilla extract in place of almond, but I do recommend almond extract—it has a fantastic cherry-like flavor!
  • Ghirardelli dark chocolate or white chocolate wafers – These are formulated for melting and drizzling or dipping, unlike chocolate chips or bars.
  • Sprinkles – Optional, but they’ll make your butter cookies extra festive.

How to Make Butter Cookies

Step by step photos showing how to make butter cookies.

Prepare: Preheat your oven to 375ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat baking mat.

Make the Dough:

  • Cream the softened butter and granulated sugar together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix in the egg yolk, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt. 
  • Slowly add the flour and mix to combine.

Bake the Butter Cookies:

  • Use a small cookie scoop and drop about a tablespoon of cookie dough onto the baking sheet for each cookie. You can also use a large piping bag and open star tip if you prefer.
  • Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove and cool completely on wire rack.

Decorate: Dip the cookies in melted chocolate and add sprinkles while the chocolate is still wet. Let the chocolate set before storing or serving.

How to Pipe Butter Cookies

Butter cookies piped onto baking sheet.

Prepare the Cookie sheet- I prefer to use NO parchment paper when piping butter cookies. Parchment works great if you’re going to scoop the dough, but when piping it’s tricky to get the dough to not stick while piping.

Tips-

  1. Don’t make them too big. Smaller cookies are better and bake evenly.
  2. If the dough is too thick, add a tablespoon or two of milk to make it a little more workable.
  3. No need to chill the dough!
Butter cookies stacked on top of each other.

Recipe FAQs

How do you store Butter Cookies?

Butter cookies are best stored in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to 5 days.

Can you freeze butter cookies?

Yes! Bake, cool, and freeze butter cookies in airtight container for up to one month. When ready to enjoy, thaw overnight, then dip in melted chocolate and sprinkles.

Why do my butter cookies get stuck in the spritzer?

Make sure your cookie dough is chilled if using a cookie spritzer.

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Butter Cookies

4.75 from 24 votes
By: Aimee
Butter Cookies are the perfect Christmas cookie recipe, but can be enjoyed any time of year. Whether you pipe them, scoop them, or slice and bake these cookies, they're melt in your mouth delicious!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Ghirardelli dark chocolate melting wafers or white chocolate wafers
  • ½ cup sprinkles optional
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Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat baking mat.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter and granulated sugar together until creamy. Add in the egg yolk, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt. Mix until well combined.
  • Add in flour slowly until blended.
  • Use a small cookie scoop and drop about 1 Tbsp of cookie dough onto the baking sheet. You can also use a large piping bag and open star tip if you prefer.
  • PRO TIP: If piping cookies, and not scooping, add about 1-2 Tbsp of milk to slightly thin the dough out to make it workable in the piping bag. 
  • Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove and cool completely on wire rack.
  • Dip in melted chocolate and/or white chocolate and add sprinkles! Set and enjoy.

Notes

  • Butter cookies are best stored in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to 5 days.
  • Bake, cool, and freeze butter cookies in airtight container for up to one month. When ready to enjoy, thaw overnight, then dip in melted chocolate and sprinkles.
  • Start with unsalted butter. This allows you to control the amount of salt in the cookies. Make sure you soften the butter first!
  • Use a good quality chocolate for dipping. I choose Ghirardelli dark chocolate melting wafers, and white chocolate melting wafers. Not only do they taste delicious, they also melt smooth and don’t need any shortening added. They set up in minutes!
  • If piping the cookies, use a large open star tip. And add about 1-2 Tbsp of milk to the cookie dough if planning on piping these cookies!
  • See blog post for more recipe tips and tricks.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 219kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 37mg, Sodium: 37mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 14g
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

Butter Cookies are the perfect Christmas cookie recipe, but can be enjoyed any time of year. Whether you pipe them, scoop them, or slice and bake these cookies, they’re melt in your mouth delicious!

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on December 4, 2023

Comments & Reviews

  1. Could not get these to pipe even with milk added! Next time using my cookie press. I even added more milk than recommended.

  2. Hands down the most requested cookie I have ever made. I pipe them into rosettes and sandwich two cookies with preserves then dip in chocolate and cover with sprinkles. People roll their eyes in the back of their head when they take a bite. They’re in heaven. I can no longer count how many times I’ve made these cookies. The only problem is you have to make twice as many when you do this but it’s worth it. They are that good.

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