Old-Fashioned Butter Cookies Recipe

Plain and simple — it's always a good time to bake some cookies. Winter, spring, summer, or fall — all you want to do is bake, bake, bake. Cookies make amazing desserts, and when it comes to these tasty treats, there are a ton of varieties you can choose from. While we love a good chocolate chip cookie, and we certainly go wild over a snickerdoodle, those are pretty common treats. We'll be honest — it's always fun to try something that's a little more outside the cookie box. These old-fashioned butter cookies taste downright amazing, and they are sure to earn a spot in your regular cookie rotation.

Recipe developer Jessica Morone came up with this tasty recipe that goes well with anything from a cup of coffee to a cold glass of milk. "I love how simple and easy these are. They are so delicious and take very little work," Morone shares. If you're already hooked, keep reading to find out how to make these wonderful sweets. This recipe yields 24 cookies, which means you will have plenty to pass around!

Gather the ingredients for old-fashioned butter cookies

Are you ready to get this baking party started? If so, make a list of ingredients that you will need in order to fix up these tasty cookies. (The best part is, you probably already have most — if not all — of these ingredients at home!)

Start with a cup of unsalted butter at room temperature. To make things easy, just leave it on the counter when you return from the store, if you plan to bake right away. You will also need to swing the baking aisle for some sugar. Then, be sure to grab eggs, but you will only need to use the yolks. Next, gather vanilla extract and salt. The last item you will need to get is all-purpose flour.

Mix the butter and sugar

Now that you have all of your ingredients ready to go, it's time to get baking. It's easiest to measure the ingredients ahead of time, but if you want to do it as you go, that's also okay. Take out a large bowl, and add the butter first. As a reminder, it should be at room temperature, which makes it much easier to work with.

Then, toss in the sugar, and cream the two together until the mixture turns light and fluffy. "Creaming together the butter and sugar gives baked good structure, and also helps to disperse the sugar evenly through the batter which helps it dissolve into the butter," Morone says. "This gives your baked good a lighter texture."

Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract

There are still a few more things that you will need to add to the mix, ensuring that your batter will be absolutely perfect. Go ahead and throw in the egg yolks. As a side note, it's probably easiest to separate these ahead of time, so you don't accidentally put in the whole egg. (We've been there — trust us!) Then, add the vanilla extract. Continue mixing until they're well combined.

Moving down the list, you can also toss in the salt. Last but not least, add the flour slowly as you mix until it's well incorporated and the dough comes together.

Pipe the dough

Now that you've finished the dough, you'll want to place it into a piping bag. Use a large star-shaped tip to pipe out circles of cookie dough onto a nonstick baking sheet. If you want to keep things simpler, you can use a cookie scoop instead of a piping bag. Simply plop the dough onto a nonstick baking sheet.

Then, place the baking sheets in the fridge, and let them chill for at least 30 minutes. "Chilling lets the dough keep its shape when it is baked. If you don't chill the dough first, then the cookies will spread a lot when they bake," Morone says. "They will still taste good, but might be very flat."

Preheat the oven, and bake the cookies

While your dough chills, walk over the oven, and preheat it to 350 F. Once it has fully preheated, take the dough out of the fridge, and pop the cookies into the oven. Set your timer for 12 to 15 minutes to check the cookies. You'll want to bake them until the edges turn golden brown.

When you take the cookies out of the oven, let them cool for about five minutes on the cookie sheets. Then, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve, and enjoy

Feel free to serve the cookies however you'd wish. "These are great for all occasions. On their own, they are a good dessert, but you could serve them with coffee or tea for dipping as well. Also, if you want to dress them up a bit, you could add sprinkles on top of the dough before baking them, and they could become holiday cookies," Morone notes.

You can also prep the dough ahead of time. "If you store these in an airtight container, they should be good for up to a week. I haven't tried freezing the baked cookies — I would suggest rather than freezing the cookies, it would be a better idea to freeze the unbaked cookie dough, and then thaw it right before baking it. That way, they will be fresh from the oven," Morone says. Now, dig in! 

Old-Fashioned Butter Cookies Recipe
5 from 152 ratings
Old-fashioned butter cookies are great for all occasions. On their own, they are a good dessert, but you could serve them with coffee or tea for dipping, too.
Prep Time
Cook Time
butter cookies on a plate
Total time: 22 minutes
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  1. In a large bowl, add the softened butter and sugar, and cream them together until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  2. Mix in the egg yolks and vanilla extract until well combined.
  3. Add in the salt, then slowly add the flour while mixing until well incorporated and the dough comes together.
  4. Place the dough into a piping bag, and use a large star tip to pipe out circles of cookie dough onto a nonstick baking sheet. Or, for an easier version, use a cookie scoop to drop cookie dough onto nonstick baking sheets.
  5. Place the baking sheets into the fridge, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  7. Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes until the edges are just golden brown.
  8. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Calories per Serving 117
Total Fat 8.0 g
Saturated Fat 5.0 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 32.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 10.2 g
Dietary Fiber 0.2 g
Total Sugars 4.2 g
Sodium 26.0 mg
Protein 1.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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