Butter cookies! These aren’t your grandma’s sewing tin butter cookies, oh my. This recipe is melt-in-your-mouth heaven!
This homemade butter cookie recipe knocks that blue tin out of the water! Enjoy with a hot cup of tea and other afternoon snacky favorites like lemon raspberry muffins or classic scones.
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Butter Cookie Ingredients
- Butter – Unsalted, room temperature.
- Sugar – White, granulated.
- Salt – Regular table salt. If you use salted butter, skip the additional salt.
- Egg – Large, room temperature.
- Extracts – Almond and vanilla.
- Flour – All purpose flour.
How do you make butter cookies? (step-by-step)
⭐ First, cream together the butter, sugar and salt with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add in the egg, vanilla, and almond extracts continue beating.
⭐ Then, reduce the speed of the mixer and slowly add in the flour. If desired, spoon dough into a piping bag fitted with a star tip, and pipe rosettes on a lined cookie sheet.
⭐ Next, chill the cookie dough and preheat your oven.
⭐ Finally, bake the cookies until lightly browned on the bottoms and edges.
What does it mean to cream the butter and sugar?
Creaming butter and sugar together is when you beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer for 2 – 4 minutes until air is incorporated and it becomes lighter in color and fluffy in texture.
Do you pipe or roll Danish butter cookies?
We used a 1mm star tip to pipe ours. It is a moderately thick batter, and takes some effort to pipe but it can be done!
Alternatively, you can roll the dough into a log and chill or freeze, then make slice and bake. You could even use a cookie scoop to make drop cookies!
Can you make the dough ahead of time?
Yes, this dough can be prepared a day or two in advance and kept in the refrigerator or longer if kept in the freezer.
You’ll want to roll it into a log before refrigerating as it will be too stiff to pipe when chilled.
Storage and leftovers
How long do butter cookies last?
The baked cookies will last 1 – 2 weeks at room temperature in a cool/dry environment, when stored in a sealed airtight container. If you will not be able to finish them in that amount of time, they can be frozen.
Can you freeze homemade butter cookies?
Yes, they can be frozen before or after baking. If freezing the dough before baking, either into a log and wrap tightly in plastic wrap then again in a sealed bag or foil, or make your cookie shapes and freeze the dough on a pan. When the cookie dough shapes are frozen, transfer them to a freezer safe container.
Frozen cut outs will stay good for up to a month, and a frozen log will stay good for up to three months. After that time they will still be safe to bake/eat, but the quality will deteriorate.
To freeze after baking, allow the cookies to cool completely, then store in an airtight freezer safe container for up to 3 months.
How do you defrost cookie dough?
For best results, defrost in the refrigerator overnight. To defrost cookie dough quickly, use a sharp knife to slice your frozen cookie dough into discs then place them on your lined baking sheet. The sliced dough will thaw quickly and then you can bake it.
Can you bake frozen butter cookie dough?
Yes, place the frozen dough on a lined baking sheet and bake for 2 – 3 minutes longer than the recipe recommends.
Frequently asked questions
Are butter cookies soft?
Butter cookies are typically a crispy cookie that melt in your mouth due to the amount of butter and sugar.
If you’re looking for a soft chewy cookie, try our sugar cookie recipe.
Are butter cookies the same as shortbread?
Butter cookies are very similar to shortbread. Butter cookie dough is a bit softer and contains egg, unlike shortbread cookies.
Tips and Tricks
✅ Try dipping the cookies in chocolate or candy melts
✅ Add chocolate chips, chopped almonds, or toffee to your cookie dough.
✅ Flavor with different extracts like lemon, coconut, or rum.
What to eat with butter cookies (serving suggestions)
These cookies go so wonderfully in a new neighbor or congratulations gift box along with oreo truffles, blueberry scones, and scotcheroos!
More delicious cookie recipes
- M&M Christmas cookies
- Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies
- Sprinkle cookies
- Lemon pudding cookies
- See all our cookie recipes!
Other dessert recipes you’ll enjoy
Tools we love
- Baking sheets – This set is perfect, we use them for everything from roasting, to baking, and even serving.
- Silicone baking mats – I always always always line with these, nothing sticks!
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How to Make Butter Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- Using an electric hand mixer, or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy (2 - 4 minutes).
- Add in the egg, vanilla and almond extracts and continue to beat until well mixed.
- Reduce the speed of the mixer to low, and slowly add in the flour, scraping down the sides as necessary. The dough should be on the thicker side.
- Spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a star tip, and pipe 2 inch wide rosettes on a lined cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart from each other. Refrigerate the piped cookie dough for about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Alternatively, roll into a log, wrap, chill, then slice.
- Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes at 350° F, until lightly browned on the bottoms and edges.
Want something super simple? Try making these three ingredient cookies with your kids!
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these butter cookies remind me so much of the ones my father always loved! thank you for sharing this recipe
Usually I only have these around Christmas time, but I love them so much! Thanks for the recipe. These are perfect! So good for any occasion, not just Christmas! A few pastel sprinkles and I’ll be all set for Easter!
YUM!!!! These were the PERFECT cookie. I was craving something like this and started my search and found this one and I’m so glad I did. They were delicious!
The batter is thick for sure, but the cookies came out delicous!