These crispy, crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth Butter Cookies are easier to make than you think!
These buttery, crispy cookies are reminiscent of the Dutch Butter Cookies and are the perfect addition to your Christmas holiday cookie tray.
Old fashioned butter cookies are often topped with a sprinkled of granulated sugar before baking.
There are many ways to enjoy this sentimental classic cookie, like dipped in white or dark chocolate.
Remember the blue tin butter cookies?
Do you remember that dark blue Danish Butter Cookie tin?
We grew up eating the blue tin butter cookies, they were a holiday staple in ours and many other families. My mom kept her sewing supplies in the tin and I always wished to find more cookies made with butter inside.
This is the best butter cookie recipe, and pretty close to how I remember the classic Dutch butter cookies tasting!
One reader, Lou commented: "So easy, so tasty! Light, buttery and perfect with coffee, tea or a good glass of milk 👏★★★★★
Why you'll love this easy butter cookie recipe
- So easy to make cookie recipe with simple basic ingredients
- Classic Danish butter cookie just like the classic blue tin
- Easy to customize
- Make ahead option to help save time during the busy holidays
- Perfect cookie for holiday cookie platters, gift-giving and cookie exchanges
Ingredients for the best butter cookies
- Unsalted butter - soften butter at room temperature. Take the butter out of the refrigerator 30 to 60 minutes before beginning the recipe.
- Eggs - use large eggs, brought to room temperature before starting the recipe.
- All purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract - I like to use pure vanilla extract for all of my from-scratch baking recipes. You can also substitute artificial vanilla extract if that is what you've got on hand in the pantry.
Overview: How to Make Butter Cookies
The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through it so you understand each step before getting started.
STEP ONE - Beat butter and sugar for two minutes. Set a time and ensure that it's a full two minutes.
STEP TWO - Add in the salt and vanilla and beat until combined.
STEP THREE - Add in the egg and beat just until combined.
STEP FOUR - Gradually add in the all-purpose flour ½ cup at a time until fully incorporated into the butter mixture.
STEP FIVE - Using Wilton 1M piping tip, spoon ⅓ of the dough into a decorator bag.
STEP SIX - Starting in the middle, pipe into a circle onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
I like to go counter-clockwise, but I am left-handed. You might prefer to go the opposite way. Once you are done piping the circle, you may need to gently release it from the end of the tip, and tuck it into the side of the circle.
STEP SEVEN - Bake in 350°F oven for 15 minutes. The edges should be very lightly browned.
Starting in the middle, pipe into a circle, on either a parchment-paper lined, silicone mat lined or an ungreased baking sheet.
TIP: If the dough is too soft and not holding it's shape, refrigerate it for about 20 minutes. It will depend on the temperature of your dough and kitchen as well.
Bake in 350°F oven for 15 minutes. The edges should be very lightly browned.
Variations for Danish butter cookies recipe
It is optional to sprinkle 1 tbsp. of granulated sugar on top of the cookies before baking for a sweeter flavor. If you're dipping the cookies in chocolate, I would omit the sugar sprinkle.
Make a jam cookie! For a special treat, turn a plain butter cookie upside down, spread on your favourite jam and place the other cookie flat-side-down on top and press down gently.
Chocolate-Dipped Butter Cookies with Sprinkles Variation
We love this variation for butter cookies and often like to make half of them chocolate-dipped with different custom toppings on the chocolate.
Melt 4 to 6 one ounce squares of semisweet chocolate (or white chocolate) in the top of a double-boiler or over low heat directly on the stove element being careful not to scorch the chocolate. You could also melt in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time until melted.
Dip one-half of the cooled cookies into the chocolate and immediately top with sprinkles, if using.
Make these cookies your own way by adding topping variations on the melted chocolate!
Shredded coconut, finely chopped nuts, or your favorite holiday sprinkles and sanding sugar will give these a holiday festive touch.
This recipe is an easy-to-make homemade butter Christmas cookie will be on baking repeat as fast as they melt in your mouth.
My top tips for making the best butter cookies recipe
- Use room temperature butter and eggs for much better baking results
- Use pure vanilla extract for much better tasting butter cookies
- Measure the flour properly by scooping the flour into the measuring cup with a spoon and levelling off at the top of measuring cup with a knife
- To make them crispier for more of a crunch, you can cook them for another minute or two, but the bottom and sides can over brown quickly so watch them closely
What is the best butter to use to make melt in your mouth butter cookies?
I like to use unsalted butter for baking these butter cookies but you can use your favorite salted butter as well, however you will want to omit the added salt in the recipe
Salted butter has different amounts of salt from different brands and even the same brand in different batches.
So I like to add my own salt so I can control how much is used in the recipe.
Can you make the butter cookie dough ahead of time to bake later on?
Yes you can! You can store the cookie dough you made wrapped in plastic wrap or an airtight container for 3 to 5 days. Allow it to sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes to make it easier for piping.
To freeze the cookie dough, make the dough and pipe the cookies into your circle shape onto a baking sheet and flash freeze the baking sheet and unbaked cookies in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours until frozen.
Place them in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag and freeze for 2 to 3 months.
Bake the frozen unbaked cookie dough (unthawed) for an extra couple of minutes.
How to store Dutch butter cookies?
Store in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days at room temperature, or in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Use parchment paper pieces to separate the layers, especially if you dipped them in chocolate or sprinkle the tops with sugar.
Can you freeze easy butter cookies?
Yes you can! Freeze Christmas butter cookies in a freezer-safe container with parchment paper to separate the layers for 2 to 3 months.
Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature before serving.