We took these cookies into work the other day. When we noticed the majority of these easy butter cookies disappeared before noon, we knew we had a success on our hands. The butter cookies themselves are fairly light and delicate (yes, even with all that butter) – they’re similar to a shortbread cookie and go well with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
The recipe could not be easier (read: we made these with our food processor, you can also use a stand mixer or your hands). We piled everything into the processor and pulsed until we saw something similar to lumpy mashed potatoes. Everything then came out of the mixer and was molded into a disk and wrapped with plastic wrap. The dough is relatively easy to work with, but because of the butter content the dough can be slightly temperamental with temperature – if the dough is too cold, it will crack, if it is too hot, it will fall apart – as long as you keep that in mind, you should be able to accommodate pretty well.
For these easy butter cookies, we rolled out the dough and used a cute cookie cutter, but you could very easily roll the dough into logs and just cut slices for round cookies (just like store-bought dough from the store). For an added touch of cute we used of all things, a shot glass to indent a circle inside the cut cookie dough, then poked 4 holes with a wooden skewer to make the cookies look like buttons – an idea I had after seeing a Quite Like it Blog post a few months ago.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsalted cold butter, sliced
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (substitute: vanilla extract)
- finishing sugar
- Add all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the mixture looks like lumpy mashed potatoes. Remove the mixture onto a prepared large piece of plastic wrap and form the dough into a round disk, place into the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Next, lightly flour a clean surface, remove the dough from the fridge and cut the disk in half, keep one half on the floured surface and place the other into the fridge. Form the dough back into a round disk and roll out to an even 1/3-inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the desired shape (if making button cookies, this should be round). NOTE: Instead of rolling the dough out, you can form the dough into a log then slice the dough into 1/3 inch-thick rounds).
- Place the cookies onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. If adding the button design, use a round glass/cookie cutter that is smaller in diameter than the cut out cookie and lightly press to make an indent in each cookie (do not go completely through the dough) then take a wooden skewer to make 4 holes in the middle of the cookie. Sprinkle some finishing sugar over each cookie then bake in the oven for about 9 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining half of dough or store in the fridge completely covered in plastic wrap for up to 2-weeks.