Easy Butter Cookies Recipe

How to make easy butter cookies flavored with a little lemon and orange zest to make them crave worthy. Jump to the Easy Butter Cookies Recipe or read on to see our tips for making them.

Easy Butter Cookies Recipe

  

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.

How to Make Butter Cookies

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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.

Cutting out the dough

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.

Turn them into button cookies

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Recipe updated, originally posted December 2011. Since posting this in 2011, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

Easy Butter Cookies Recipe

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

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.

Makes approximately 45 cookies

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

Directions

  • Make Dough
  • Add 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.

    (If you plan to make slice and bake cookies, shape the dough into two 8-inch logs instead).

    • Bake Cookies
    • Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.

      Lightly 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.

      Arrange 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.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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18 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Terryk April 10, 2017, 11:12 am

    I too had problems with these cookies spreading and not keeping an imprint of my bunny. I think there is too much butter. Blasphemy to say that I know! I have another recipe that only uses 1-1/4 sticks of butter to 2 cups of flour and 1/2 cup f sugar. The extra butter does make them darn delicious though. Maybe a simple round cookie would be better for this recipe.

    Reply
    • Adam April 10, 2017, 11:45 am

      Hi Terryk, I’m sorry your bunnies did not keep their shape. You are correct about the butter amount. Since this recipe calls for so much — making them more of a butter cookie than a sugar cookie — it only works well when cut into discs or when you use a simple cutter (like the round one in our photos). I have added this note in the recipe above to be more clear. Thanks for commenting!

      Reply

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