Butter cookies are a classic treat that has been enjoyed by people of all ages for centuries. They are simple to make, but they can be dressed up or down to suit any occasion. From plain cookies to festive cut-out cookies, there is a butter biscuit recipe for everyone.
History of Butter Cookies
The history of these iconic cookies can be traced back to the 16th century. At that time, sugar was a rare and expensive commodity, so these cookies were considered to be a luxury treat. They were often served at royal banquets and other special occasions.
Over time, sugar became more affordable and these cookies became more popular. In the 19th century, cookies were mass-produced for the first time. This made them even more accessible to people of all social classes.
Today, these cookies are one of the most popular types of cookies in the world. They are enjoyed by people of all ages and cultures.
What are Butter Cookies?
Butter cookies are a type of cookie that is made with butter, flour, sugar, and eggs. They are typically shortbread cookies, which means that they have a high fat content and a low moisture content. This gives these cookies a rich, buttery flavor and a crumbly texture.
Butter cookies can be made in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can be plain or decorated with icing, sprinkles, or other toppings. They are often served with coffee, tea, or milk.
Applications of Butter Cookies
These delicious cookies are a versatile treat that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. They can be eaten plain, dipped in chocolate or melted butter, or used to make other desserts such as cookie crumbles or ice cream pies.
Butter cookies are also a popular ingredient in baking. They can be crushed and used in pie crusts, cheesecake crusts, or cookie bars. They can also be used to make ice cream sandwiches or cookie sandwiches.
Best Butter Cookies
The best cookies are made with fresh, high-quality ingredients. The butter should be softened but not melted, and the flour should be all-purpose flour. It is also important to cream the butter and sugar together well until they are light and fluffy.
Another tip for making the best cookies is to chill the dough before baking. This will help to prevent the cookies from spreading too much in the oven.
How to Make Butter Cookies
Embark on a journey to create these exceptional cookies by assembling a selection of ingredients that will elevate your baking experience. Each component plays a crucial role in achieving the perfect balance of flavors and textures.
Unsalted Butter (1 cup or 2 sticks, softened):
Begin with the foundation of rich and luscious unsalted butter. Softened to perfection, it imparts a velvety smoothness to the cookie dough. Butter’s luxurious quality not only contributes to the cookies’ irresistible tenderness but also enhances the overall flavor profile with its subtle, creamy richness.
Granulated Sugar (1 cup):
Sweetness is a cornerstone of any delightful cookie, and granulated sugar takes center stage. Beyond its obvious role in sweetening the dough, sugar participates in creating the cookies’ coveted crisp exterior while contributing to the enticing golden brown hue during baking. It acts as the co-star, complementing the buttery richness with a perfect touch of sweetness.
Large Eggs (2):
Introduce the binding and leavening agents into the mix with the addition of two large eggs. These culinary powerhouses lend structure and moisture to the dough, ensuring a harmonious union of ingredients. Their emulsifying properties create a cohesive texture, while their leavening prowess adds a subtle lift, resulting in a delectably soft and airy bite.
All-Purpose Flour (2 1/4 cups):
The backbone of the cookie, all-purpose flour, brings structure and body to the dough. Its versatility allows for the creation of a well-balanced texture – not too dense, not too delicate. Flour is the canvas upon which the other ingredients weave their magic, creating a sturdy yet tender foundation for your intricately shaped cookies.
Baking Powder (1 teaspoon):
Elevate the cookies to new heights with the addition of baking powder. This leavening agent acts as a silent ally, producing a subtle rise in the dough that results in a delicate fluffiness. The interplay between baking powder and other ingredients ensures that your cookies achieve the perfect thickness and maintain their delightful shape during baking.
Salt (1/2 teaspoon):
A pinch of salt serves as the culinary maestro, orchestrating the symphony of flavors. Balancing sweetness and enhancing the overall taste, salt adds depth to the cookies, making each bite a nuanced and satisfying experience. It also acts as a flavor enhancer, ensuring that every ingredient shines in its unique glory.
Now that you’ve gathered this ensemble of ingredients, follow the simple instructions to craft your cookie masterpiece. Preheat the oven, cream the butter and sugar, incorporate the eggs, and blend in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Let the dough chill, roll it out, and shape your cookies before baking to golden perfection. As they cool, the symphony of flavors and textures will come together, resulting in a batch of cookies that are truly remarkable.
Butter Cookies Recipe
- 2 cups 240g all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon 3g salt
- 1 cup 227g unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup 100g granulated sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup 60g sanding sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla extract until combined.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.
- If desired, roll the dough balls in sanding sugar before placing them on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to turn golden brown.
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- For chewier cookies, chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before baking.
- For crispier cookies, bake for a few minutes longer.
- If you don’t have sanding sugar, you can use regular granulated sugar instead.
- You can also add other toppings to your cookies, such as chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruit.
What kind of butter should I use to make butter cookies?
You should use unsalted butter to make these cookies. Salted butter can make the cookies too salty.
Can I substitute shortening for butter in butter cookies?
You can substitute shortening for butter in these cookies, but the cookies will not have the same rich, buttery flavor.
How long can I store butter cookies?
Yes, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Can I freeze butter cookies?
Yes, you can freeze them. Baked cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough can be frozen for up to 6 months.
Take a look at another of our famous Christmas recipes, Easy Fruit Cake Recipe.