How to make easy butter cookies flavored with a little lemon and orange zest to make them crave worthy.
Related: We love these shortbread cookies!
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. Pile everything into a food processor and pulse until just blended. Mold into a disc, wrap and chill. Chilling makes the dough a little easier to roll out. When chilled, roll out and cut into shapes or form into a log and cut into discs. Easy!
One note, this recipe does have a lot of butter, so the cookies will spread a little while they bake. Because of this, we don’t recommend using intricate cookie cutter shapes with this recipe.
To make the cookies look like buttons, lightly press a shot glass into the cookie dough then poke 4 holes with a wooden skewer into the middle.
Easy Butter Cookies
These easy butter cookies are very simple to make. When making them, it is important to keep the dough relatively cool. If the dough is too cold, it will crack. If this happens to you, leave the dough out to warm up a little. If the dough is too warm, it will fall apart on you. If this happens, just place it back into the fridge to chill for a few minutes.
We add a fun button design to the cookies. If you are not into adding the button design, you could roll the dough into a log and slice into cookie dough rounds or even make your own design/shapes. This recipe does have a lot of butter, so the cookies will spread a little while they bake. Because of this, we don’t recommend using intricate cookie cutter shapes with this recipe.
You Will Need
2 cups all-purpose flour
16 tablespoons unsalted cold butter, sliced (2 sticks)
1 large egg
3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for tops
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or substitute vanilla extract
- Make Dough
1Add everything to a food processor and pulse until the mixture looks like lumpy mashed potatoes. Divide the dough between two large sheets of plastic wrap. Wrap and form into round disks. Chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.
2(If you plan to make slice and bake cookies, shape the dough into two 8-inch logs instead).
- Bake Cookies
1Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.
2Lightly flour a clean work surface, remove one disk of dough from the fridge. Roll out to about 1/3-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. If you formed the dough into logs instead of disks, simply slice them into 1/3-inch thick slices.
3Arrange the cookies on the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them about 1/2-inch apart. Bake until the edges start to turn a very light brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and let the cookies cool on the pans until set, about 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- To make the cookies look like buttons, use a round cookie cutter to cut out cookie dough rounds then lightly press a shot glass partially into the cookie rounds, leaving a small indent. Poke 4 holes with a wooden skewer into the middle then bake as described above.
- This recipe was inspired and adapted from James Peterson’s cookbook, “Cooking” — a book we highly recommend adding to your own collection.