These soft butter cookies are full of rich-buttery goodness. They have a delightful crumbly texture that just melts in your mouth. This easy one-bowl recipe is made with only 6 ingredients. Butter cookies with candied cherries on a cooling rack.   There’s nothing I love more than snacking on a few good butter cookies. They’re rich and satisfying and go great with a cup of tea. However, not all butter cookies are made equal. Some are too sweet, too dry or simply lacking in flavor, but not these. These butter cookies are all about the perfect balance of taste and texture. A plate of butter cookies with candied cherries.

Why this recipe is so great:

  • They taste so good, you can’t eat just one. These butter cookies are not too sweet which makes it easy to enjoy more than one (and trust me you’ll want to eat a few). They have a beautiful buttery taste with warm notes of vanilla.
  • The texture is melt-in-your-mouth amazing! These butter cookies are tender and crispy on the outside yet soft in the center, which is the way I like my cookies. But if you prefer a crispy butter cookie, you can simply bake them for 1-2 minutes longer so that they are just fully baked and still tender.
  • A simple one-bowl recipe. This whole recipe is made in one bowl which makes clean up a breeze. There are only 6 ingredients required with a few optional add-ins.
  • Makes perfect piped cookies. This dough makes for pretty piped cookies because the lines stay defined. It’s firm but not so firm where you have to break a sweat trying to pipe the cookies.

How to make butter cookies:

step by step pictures of how to make butter cookies
  1. Beat the butter and sugar together using a stand mixer with paddle attachment or handheld mixer.
  2. Mix in the egg, vanilla extract, almond extract (optional), and salt.
  3. Add the flour in two equal parts, mixing in between until mostly combined.
  4. Give a final few stirs by hand using a wooden spoon to make sure all the flour is incorporated.
  5. Transfer the dough to a heavy-duty piping bag fitted with a large open tip. Pipe the cookies into 2″ circles onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat.
  6. Finish in the center, release the pressure, twist, and pull the piping bag away.
  7. Decorate with some candied cherries, thick jam, or a sprinkle of sugar.
  8. Place the tray uncovered in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes while you preheat your oven. Bake at 350F for about 15 minutes.
step by step picture of how to pipe butter cookies

Expert tips:

  • Use a heavy-duty piping bag with a large open tip. The dough is thick so you want to use a good heavy-duty piping bag or heavy-duty plastic freezer bag. You also want to use a large open tip like a Wilton 8B or something similar. Anything smaller will be too difficult to pipe.
  • Chill the cookies before baking to help keep their shape. Chilling the cookies will help solidify the butter and relax the gluten to make the cookies more tender and help keep their shape in the oven.
  • Add a touch of almond extract. Optional but highly recommended. Adding a tiny bit of almond extract really makes a difference in these cookies. It enhances the buttery flavor and adds an alluring rich fragrance.

FAQ:

  • What is the difference between butter cookies, shortbread cookies, and sugar cookies? Butter cookies are made with granulated sugar and eggs versus shortbread cookies which are made with powdered sugar and no eggs. Sugar cookies have a higher ratio of flour to fat, usually contain a leavening agent like baking soda, and have more sugar in them. (source: Taste of Home)
  • How to store butter cookies. Once the cookies are completely cooled, store them in an airtight container for 3-5 days at room temperature.
  • Can you freeze butter cookies? Yes, place the cookies in a freezer-safe container with the layers separated with wax paper and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

You might also like:

A close up of a butter cookies on a cooling rack. These butter cookies are wonderfully soft, tender and crumbly all at the same time. The taste is elegantly rich and buttery with a lovely scent of vanilla.

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Old-Fashioned Butter Cookies


  • Author: Lily Ernst
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2 dozen

Description

These butter cookies are full of rich-buttery goodness. They have a delightful crumbly texture that just melts in your mouth.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup (227g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 12 candied or glacé cherries, cut in half (optional)

Instructions

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together using a stand mixer with paddle attachment or handheld mixer. Mix in the egg, vanilla extract, almond extract (optional), and salt.
  3. Add the flour in two equal parts, mixing in between until mostly combined. Give a final few stirs by hand using a wooden spoon to make sure all the flour is incorporated.
  4. Transfer the dough to a heavy-duty piping bag fitted with a large open tip, like a Wilton 8B. Pipe the dough onto the prepared baking sheets into 2″ circles. Finish in the center, release the pressure, twist, and pull the piping bag away. Decorate the center with some candied cherries, thick jam, or a sprinkle of sugar all around.
  5. Place the tray uncovered in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes while you preheat your oven.
  6. Bake at 350F for about 15-17 minutes or until lighly golden around the edges for soft butter cookies. For crispy butter cookies, bake until golden-brown around the edges.
  7. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet before serving or storing.

Notes

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for 3-5 days at room temperature.

To freeze the cookies: place them in a freezer-safe container with the layers separated with wax paper and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

  • Category: dessert, snack
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: butter cookie recipe, soft butter cookies, old-fashioned butter cookies

Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker.

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