Melissa lives in Downtown Albuquerque. She loves sharing her local discoveries with fellow travelers and explorers.
Easy Butter Cookies From Scratch
Butter cookies are easy to make and with a basic recipe, like the one I am going to give you, you can add all kinds of toppings and fillings.
Think butter cream, chocolate and sprinkles to start. Boy, I LOVE talking about this recipe, but not as much as I love eating it once it's baked!
Stimulate your imagination and line up your ingredients and utensils. Ready? Set? Gooooooooooooooooooooo!
Easy Butter Cookie Recipe Ingredients
Just 5 ingredients are needed for the cookies:
- 1 cup salted butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose-flour
- 1 egg yolk
Baking from Scratch Utensils
Small number of utensils required:
- baking sheet
- flour sifter
- hand mixer
- mixing spatula--silicone or rubber works well
- mixing spoons and cups
- 2 mixing bowls
- Place the butter, sugar, and vanilla into a mixing bowl and use a mixer to cream them together.
- Mix the egg yolk into the creamy butter mixture.
- In separate bowl sift the flour.
- Add the sifted flour to the creamed mixture.
- Incorporate the flour lightly into the butter and sugar mixture until the flour disappears--a rubber spatula is a good choice for this.
How Will You Bake Your Butter Cookies?
NOW comes the fun part. You need to decide how you want to bake these cookies.
You'll want to do these things before hand
- Preheat oven to 325 and lightly grease the baking sheet.
- Prepare your cookie sheet with your favorite baking spray or line with parchment.
- Bake for 15 minutes until golden colored but not brown.
Bake in Slices
- Place the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll the dough into a log shape. Wrap the dough log in the plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for a few hours so it can harden up a bit (it's mostly butter so it will be soft until you do this).
- Remove the dough from the fridge. Slice cookies from the roll and place on the cookie sheet. Bake.
- Thinner slices can be stacked with jam, nut butter or icing in between. You'll need to test baking times to get this right...a thinner cookie will take less time to turn golden brown.
Bake as shapes
- Roll out the dough on a floured cutting board.
- Cut dough using use your favorite cookie cutters. You can also portion the dough and refrigerate it to make smaller batches. Make cookies every day until you use up your dough.
Make more delicate cookies with a pastry tube
- Place the dough into a pastry tube and squeeze shapes on to a prepared baking sheet.
- You'll need to test baking times for more delicate, thinner shapes.
Make as pinwheels:
- Roll out the dough on a floured cutting board.
- Spread Nutella or a favorite fruit jam across the rolled out dough.
- start from one end and roll up the dough into a log shape.
- Refrigerate for a few hours or until firm to the tough.
- Remove from the fridge, slice cookies from the log and bake.
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Adding Extra Flavors
Once the cookies have baked and cooled, you can add the extra goodies.
- Hand dip the ends or sides of the cookies in melted chocolate. If you want some contrast in taste, don't mix too much sugar into the chocolate recipe you choose--remember the cookies are butter and sugar already.
- Once you dip the cookie in chocolate you can then immediately dip into a coconut and nut mixture--the chocolate will harden and hold the bits in place.
- Try placing a favorite filling between two of the butter cookies and make a sandwich--a butter cream filling is always tasty but so are fruit fillings such as apricot, raspberry and even cranberry.
- Brush the cooled butter cookies with egg white and then add sprinkles and other decorative toppings--the egg white helps the smaller tidbits adhere to the cookie.
- Leave them plain and serve them with hot cocoa or a favorite holiday drink.
My Recommendation for Butter Cookie Dipping Chocolate
I personally love Ghiradelli's chocolate products. They are flavorful and have a rich consistency, and they bake really well when used in a recipe.
However, we are dipping butter cookies and their dipping chocolate is perfect for a butter cookie recipe.
Remember: Let cookies cool after baking, then dip into the chocolate anyway you like...at an angle, fully, or half way. Follow the directions on the dipping chocolate product. I usually just place the dipped cookies on a sheet of wax paper and allow the chocolate to harden before serving.
OH, yes...dipping wafers also taste great as a nibble right out of the container!
Butter cookies are good with just about anything.
Try serving them with some fresh fruit or nut butters like almond, or a scoop of your favorite ice cream or sorbet.
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More Topping Ideas?
anonymous on November 26, 2012:
Lemon cream between two cookies. Divine!
julieannbrady on January 29, 2012:
I love chocolate mixed with chopped nuts ... YUMM! Butter cookies are so tasty.