Butter Cookies are buttery, tender cookies that can be enjoyed as-is with a cup of coffee or tea or as a base for decorating holiday cookies. These are piped out into a swirl shape and are similar to spritz cookies. Both can be customizable to your festivities or occasion.
Butter Cookies are synonymous with Christmas cookies (remember the blue tin?), and I wanted to find a recipe as easy as possible. Once I saw OwlBBaking’s soft butter cookies, I knew they were a winner. I know how busy the holiday season can be, so a cookie recipe that does not take all day with no chilling time works for me (and it will for you)! However, you will still get a buttery cookie that is sturdy enough to decorate. I plan to dip each cookie in chocolate ganache made with butter with some added sprinkles, which I plan to add to my Christmas dessert charcuterie board.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Butter: Since these are butter cookies, you will need butter, of course! In fact, you will need 2 sticks of unsalted butter. The ratio of butter and all-purpose flour is the perfect combination for a solid cookie recipe.
Sugar: Granulated sugar is creamed with butter until light and fluffy.
Eggs: You will just add egg yolks to the cookie dough; it helps make the dough easier to work with. But, don’t waste the egg whites, which can be used in another recipe like Fried Ice Cream.
Milk: Add about a tablespoon of milk at a time to the dough, or until the dough is pliable, but still sticky.
Can I Make the Dough Ahead of Time?
Sure! If you want to get the cookie dough made in advance, you can store it in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 3 days. Or, freeze the dough. To freeze, first, get the dough mixed together. Next, pipe out the cookie dough onto a lined baking sheet. Then, place the sheet of cookie dough into the freezer until solid (1-2 hours). Once solid, store the piped cookie dough in a freezer-safe bag that is labeled, dated, and includes the baking instructions. When ready to bake, just add a couple of minutes to the baking time, no need to thaw first.
Can I Make Butter Cookies Without a Piping Bag?
Yes! If you don’t have a piping bag, you could simply add dollops of the dough onto the lined baking sheet to bake. They won’t have the lovely swirl shape, but will still be delicious and easy to decorate!
How to Store Butter Cookies
Once the cookies have been baked, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. They will last up to a week. You can also freeze the baked cookies. First, let them cool completely. Then, store them in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. They could possibly last longer, but the taste may be affected the longer they are stored.
- 1 cup (2 sticks / 227 g) unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup (133 g) granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2-3 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg yolks and vanilla. Mix until combined.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and salt.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix on low until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Working 1 tablespoon at a time, add milk until the mixture is sticky, thick, and well combined. Set aside.
- This is a very thick batter, so you will need a heavy-duty piping bag, or you can use the double bag method. To do that you will need two piping bags, one fitted with a large star tip and one that has not been cut. Transfer the batter to the piping bag with no tip. Clip the tip of that bag and place it inside the second piping bag that is fitted with the star tip.
- Pipe the batter into a circular pattern onto the lined baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch in between each cookie.
- Bake 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Let the cookies cool completely before decorating.
Did you make this recipe?
Thank you for making my recipe! You took pictures, right? Well go ahead and post them on Instagram! Be sure to mention me @iambaker and use the hashtag #YouAreBaker.
Would a cookie press work in lieu of a pastry bag?
When you say “a dollop” of cookie dough if I do not have a piping bag & tip, how big is a “dollop”? Would that be about a tablespoon of cookie dough? And could I use a tablespoon cookie scoop? Thank you!!
I rolled into one inch balls and flattened with a small juice glass, coated in flour, worked great.i found too hard to pipe, I just don’t have the strength anymore
Well seeing this just became the highlight of my life. Absolutely HONORED that you found my recipe and loved it!!!! 🙂 THANK YOU!!!
Oh yay!!! Thank you so much for your amazing recipe!
*A word of caution to anyone who wants to make these*
The first two times I made them they did not turn out. I did everything stated and the even after chilling the cookies in the fridge for an hour before baking they did not work. The third time I tried to make them I had to freeze the cookies I had piped out for over an hour to get good results. Overall, good cookies, just make sure, make sure you freeze them before baking.
These are delicious. I followed the recipe exactly except I chilled the dough in the fridge after piped for 20 minutes before baking, and baked for 12 minutes. They would’ve burned if in for much longer.
Trick for piping – don’t fill the bag very much so it’s easier to push the batter out. It’s stiff! I used 3 tbsp milk.
These look amazing. Thank you 😊 💓
I found this recipe yesterday and made them tonight. I realized I’d forgotten the milk addition but the cookies are phenomenal! They are a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth cookie. I piped into short bars and shamrocks. For the shamrocks I added LorAnn’s peppermint emulsion and green food color gel. Since they were so delicate, I iced the bottom of the cookies with Hershey’s mint chocolate chips melted w/
1 1/2 tsp. Crisco hoping to add stability to them for transporting. My grandson will love the shamrocks when we meet up in a few weeks at Disneyworld.
Thank you for this excellent cookie!
I know the butter cookies in the blue tin. There are many persons, me one of them, that always wondered what happened to Bader cookies. Does anybody knows? You