Victoria is a stay-at-home mom, author, educator, and blogger at Healthy at Home. She currently lives in Colorado with her family.
Butter cookies have always been one of my vices. Soft and creamy, melt in your mouth cookies that, at one point in time, I thought I could only get from the store, have been one of those special treats I only bought myself on special occasions. Every chance I got, during the holidays, and I mean every holiday, birthday parties, and even dinner invites, I went and bought a box of these amazing cookies.
For years I tried to make them myself, and for some reason could never figure them quite out. No matter how hard I tried I could never get them to taste like the scrumptious ones at the store.
I'm truly a baker at heart. Food is one of my biggest passions, and I love working with it all, but I struggled with desserts for a long time. Seriously, I couldn't make chocolate chips cookies or a chocolate pie without screwing it up somehow. It was very depressing. Thankfully the grocery store was nearby. And then one year it all just clicked. Fortunately it was just after getting married and so my family has been able to benefit from it. The cookies, pastries, breads, pies and all other desserts I wished to make with all of my heart were now within my grasp.
I started slowly with the easy recipes like basic sugar cookies and chocolate pie, of course using the pie crusts from the store. One baby step at a time, right? I finally learned how to make fruit pies like cherry and apple, and bumped up to making snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies. Although, it wasn't until after learning how to make my own pie crusts from scratch and successfully make just about any recipe work for me that I learned how to make butter cookies.
In truth, my first butter cookies came from a recipe. A friend of mine had brought some wonderful butter cookies to a party that I couldn't tell had not been purchased from the store, and she was generous enough to share her recipe with me. Since then I have changed up a few things and made it my own, and now I'm sharing it with you. I hope these bring as much pleasure to you as they have to me.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
5 to 6 dozen cookies depending on size
- 1 cup real butter
- 1 cup organic cane sugar, (so they are still white)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, homemade preferred
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch pink Himalayan salt
- First things first. In a large bowl, cream your butter and sugar together with a hand mixer until smooth. Then add in your vanilla and stir in well.
- In a separate medium bowl, mix together your dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking powder).
- Pour your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients, and mix both into each other well, until you have a dough type consistency.
- Cover your bowl with saran wrap and chill for an hour in the refrigerator.
- In the meantime, preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Cover several cookie sheets in parchment paper.
- When your cookie dough has chilled for an hour, remove it from the refrigerator and make small 1/2" to 3/4" balls. (If balls aren't your thing and you'd rather pipe them, shape them, press them or even cut them, that's fine. Balls are just my preference.)
- Place each ball about an 1 1/2 inch apart on the cookie sheet.
- I suggested several cookie sheets to be prepared so that you can be preparing one while two are in the oven. If you have more cookies to bake, you can simply wait for the other two to cool before adding more cookie dough balls.
- Bake your cookies for about 20 minutes until just before they are golden brown on top. You don't want them in there long enough to fully brown.
- Allow to cool and then enjoy! Yummy!
- Once cool, feel free to ice them, dip them in chocolate, or even sprinkle them with crushed nuts or coconut. I've tried them all over the years.
When trying to use healthier ingredients in your recipes, there are some truly simple switches that you can make that will make a world of difference in your diet but keep the basic integrity of your recipe.
One of those is using real butter (grass-fed) instead of margarine or spreadable butter with canola or some other type of oil in it. The wrapper should say "real grass-fed butter" on it. You can use real butter the exact same as you would have the alternative, in the same quantities and everything, with no problems.
Sugar is another ingredient that has an easy replacement. In most recipes, white sugar can be replaced with real organic honey (not the kind you buy at the grocery store), and brown sugar can be replaced with coconut sugar. Unless of course you need sugar the sprinkle or roll cookies in, and then of course, you'll need to use the coconut sugar. This switch can be made easily as you would use the same amount of either in your recipe.
I use my own homemade vanilla extract rather than using store-bought. It's only vodka and vanilla seed pods steeped for a long while in glass jars in my pantry, but that would definitely take some serious prior planning on your part.
In lieu of white refined flour, I use whole wheat flour. In this case as the whole wheat is much thicker and denser than white, you would want to use less in your recipe than you typically would white flour, or just use white whole wheat. In the case of this recipe, I would only use 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour so that the cookies still came out light and fluffy. Other alternative flours could be used as well but I would find a recipe using them before jumping in whole hog.
I buy my baking soda organic from my local Sprouts and use pink Himalayan salt instead of table salt. If you are looking for some healthier options without having to give up your vices, like me, I hope some of these simple tips help.
I'm definitely not at the point where I can ice my cookies perfectly like the professionals. Honestly, I don't think I'm at the point where I can make flat cookies in my desired shapes worthy of being iced like the professionals. Maybe one day I'll get there too.
But these cookies are so versatile. If you have the talent and are so inclined, there are endless ideas for using this recipe. Speaking of recipes, since originally publishing my recipe for butter cookies I have given up all refined sugars and flours and no longer use processed foods, which seriously changes the way this recipe was originally put together.
But there are tons of better ingredients you can use and much a healthier way to create this delicacy. I used organic cane sugar and white whole wheat flour to keep my cookies traditionally white for presentation purposes, but if you don't care about presentation, I would typically just use my raw local honey and whole wheat flour.
© 2013 Victoria Van Ness
Kelly Ann Christensen from Overland Park, Johnson County, Kansas on December 28, 2019:
I love butter cookies! Thanks for the recipe, and the suggested ingredients that can be switched out, except for the canola. I don't like canola oil and I thought it was bad for you? I love the organic honey idea! Then, dipping butter cookies in chocolate (cocoa) sounds even better! Your flower cookies look amazing! Thanks for sharing.
Victoria Van Ness (author) from Fountain, CO on December 12, 2018:
Noelle, I don't think it matters whether your butter is salted or not, but I buy the regular Kerry Gold grass-fed butter. It's probably salted. I'm actually not really sure.
Vtcookiemaker, If you were to use organic cane sugar and white whole wheat flour, I'm sure they would be fine to pipe.
Vtcookiemaker on December 11, 2018:
Dough too thick to pipe.???
Noelle Frislid on December 14, 2015:
Salted Butter or non-salted butter?
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on November 06, 2015:
Victoria, this looks delicious to make and scrumptious to eat. I haven't had sugar cookies in a long time. I hope to try to make this sometime in the ner future.
Victoria Van Ness (author) from Fountain, CO on February 05, 2015:
I actually did include the baking temperature (300 degrees), it's just lower down in the recipe. :) I used baking powder to make mine and they turned out scrumptious. If you'd rather use an egg to replace the baking powder, they should still turn out for you.
You can dip them in anything you'd like. I borrowed the picture from another website (see link above), but it is simply white chocolate and sprinkles. Melted chocolate chips makes for yummy dipping sauce for butter cookies as well. Have fun!
barb on February 04, 2015:
what did you dip them in? i don't see the ingredients for that in the recipe. also, did you check to see if it is soda or powder?
peachy from Home Sweet Home on December 16, 2014:
I love butter cookies but sometimes mine rurn out tasteless
Anika Diaries on December 08, 2014:
I absolutely love butter cookies.. Will definitely try this recipe at home..
Be be on December 02, 2014:
what is the baking temperature?
Victoria Van Ness (author) from Fountain, CO on April 25, 2014:
I'm not sure. I'll have to check and fix it in the recipe. Lol So sorry. Mine never go hard and are still soft after a week or so.
Tiffany on April 23, 2014:
Made these the other day, (please also know I went to culinary school (: ) and while they TASTED delicious, they went rock hard because in your ingredient list you have baking powder (which I used) and then in your instructions it says baking soda. Cookies can use either but since they went hard I think it was supposed to be soda, lol. What do you use??
Victoria Van Ness (author) from Fountain, CO on May 31, 2013:
I'm so glad you liked it! I wish I had a better picture. I don't typically dip mine and it takes a special instrument to make that shape. Lol
Dil Vil from India on May 31, 2013:
Yummy! the pic is looking delicious. Thanks for the recipe. VOTED UP...