Butter Cookies

christmas cookies

I think you all know what my favorite ingredient is, right? It’s butter, of course! It improves the taste of just about everything. Brownies? You need butter. Steak? Plop some butter on that bad boy. Bread? Spread the butter on there nice and thick! Butter is good, man.

These butter cookies are perfect. The recipe uses an entire pound of butter so the flavor just shines right through. They are like a little taste of my butter filled dreams.

This is my mama’s recipe and we all know that recipes from your mama are going to be good, right?

cookie cutters

These mix up quick, chill in the fridge for a half hour and then are ready to be rolled and cut into whatever shapes you like. We went with Christmas shapes this time, but don’t consider these to be just Christmas cookies. My mama makes these for her co-workers’ birthdays and people just beg her for the recipe. They are darn good.

butter cookies

My kids really prefer a simple, understated look when it comes to decorating these cookies.

Really, though, you could use royal icing for these and make some pretty spectacular looking cookies if you know how to decorate. Me? I leave that to the kids. I just mix up some powdered sugar, milk, and a little food coloring and beg my kids to keep the icing on the cookies and not decorate the walls. Sometimes they listen, sometimes they don’t. And sometimes they bury the gingerbread man in sprinkles. The life of a cookie is rough.

decorated butter cookies

Butter Cookies

  • 1 pound butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg yolks and vanilla and mix well. Beat in the flour and salt. Chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Roll out dough between 1/4 and 1/2 inch and cut into shapes. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 10 minutes or until very lightly browned on the bottom. Keep a close eye on these, because they are not nearly as tasty when they get too brown.

This recipe was made using Challenge Butter, which Challenge Dairy sent to me to try out and write about. I loved the butter, it was creamy and sweet and perfectly delicious. Challenge Dairy asked that I write about their butter, but the opinions are my own and are not, nor will they ever be, for sale. Challenge Dairy is also holding a “Taste of the West” sweepstakes where you can enter to win a 7 day/6 night trip for 4 people to the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch. This trip is valued at $17,000. The only restriction is that if you win, you are required to take me. (I’m just joking about that last bit. Kind of.)

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25 Responses to “Butter Cookies”

  1. msmeanie December 8, 2009 @ 5:36 pm (#

    Lovely photos and gorgeous cookies! You are so right about butter. It makes everything taste better! Yum..


  2. Julie @ Willow Bird Baking December 8, 2009 @ 10:09 pm (#

    LOL at the sprinkles — kids really know that “less is more,” don’t they?

    I’m with ya on the butter. Butter cookies sound sooo good right now!


  3. grace December 9, 2009 @ 9:25 am (#

    hese are delicious and festive, as well as a super duper family activity. i love the vibrant colors–who says we should stick with red, green, and white??


  4. Barbara December 9, 2009 @ 9:57 am (#

    Love a good butter cookie! And it’s such fun to get the kids involved with the decorating. You would not believe some of the designs and colors mine came up with! (Well, maybe you could!)


  5. Tara R. December 9, 2009 @ 4:25 pm (#

    Like peppermint candy canes, butter cookies always remind me of Christmas. These look delicious!


  6. Cheri December 11, 2009 @ 12:34 am (#

    Wow! Your kids are good decorators! Those are better then I could do! Mom’s recipes are always best! P.S. I love the new look to your site! It is awesome!


  7. Abbie December 11, 2009 @ 7:57 pm (#

    These are so pretty!


  8. James December 11, 2009 @ 11:48 pm (#

    Something about that Green, Yellow and Blue Cookie just makes me happy!

    I like the new Blog Layout, btw. :)


  9. katie December 13, 2009 @ 10:38 am (#

    I am having a great time looking through your archives! You make some fantastic stuff!


  10. Alison December 14, 2009 @ 1:09 pm (#

    I made these this weekend. SO much better than sugar cookies…I don’t think I’ll ever make those again. These cookies are so addicting, I’ve already eaten 4 this morning. Thanks for the great recipe!


  11. Geri@heartnsoulcooking December 17, 2009 @ 4:52 pm (#

    Your cookies look WONDERFUL!!! I love the photos and your recipe is GREAT!!!


  12. Rachael January 5, 2010 @ 4:17 pm (#

    My cookies were a little salty, do you think I picked up the wrong butter? I used the challenge butter.


  13. Susan January 26, 2010 @ 12:44 pm (#

    Wow, these are out of this world. When they were baking, my whole house smelled like butter. I rolled the leftover dough and wrapped it tightly into a log in some plastic wrap. Now, when I only need about a dozen cookies, I just slice it off the log. VERY convenient. This dough also freezes beautifully. Be sure to wrap it very tightly in the plastic wrap and some heavy-duty foil. I find that firmly twirling both ends of the plastic wrap forms a very tight log. I keep a couple logs in a plastic bag in the freezer. I can always put these delicious cookies on the table in no time.


  14. Beth December 22, 2010 @ 5:32 am (#

    Did you use salted or unsalted butter?


  15. Karly December 22, 2010 @ 8:03 am (#


    I use salted butter recipe. Most of the recipes on here use salted, but I always specify if it’s not. Sorry for the confusion!



  16. Pat February 13, 2012 @ 10:54 pm (#

    Monica made these today for Brandon’s Valentine party at school.


    • Karly replied: — February 14th, 2012 @ 9:52 am


      Hope they enjoy them! They’re my favorite cookie! :)


  17. Dianne December 4, 2013 @ 10:50 am (#

    Can you line the cookie sheet with parchment or just leave the cookie sheet as is?


    • Karly replied: — December 4th, 2013 @ 10:53 am


      I don’t line the sheet, but I don’t think it would hurt anything if you did. :)


  18. French girl December 18, 2013 @ 1:03 am (#

    Gd morning !!!
    How Many cookies do we get with this recipe?
    And how much 1 pound makes? 1kg ?
    Bisous :)


    • Karly replied: — December 18th, 2013 @ 9:06 am

      @French girl,

      The number of cookies you get will depend on the size of cookie cutters you use. I usually get around 36 3 inch-ish cookies.

      I’m not sure of the weight conversion. You’d have to check an online converter.




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