Soft butter cookies are cookies that you will instantly fall in love with when you eat them. They melt in the mouth and have a rich buttery flavor.

Quick Facts About Soft Butter Cookies

In today’s article, we are sharing the recipe for soft butter cookies which are insanely delicious! These Soft Butter Cookies are delicate, tender, and melt in your mouth when you eat them. These cookies have a classic swirl design that is impressive and so easy to make at home! This is the best, soft butter cookie recipe.

Let’s bake on.

 

Soft Butter Cookies

Recipe For Soft Butter Cookies - Healthsoothe

You know those beautiful, swirly butter cookies in the blue tin? They are just so pretty and seriously, who doesn't love a classic butter cookie?! They are the perfect cookie for anything & everything.

Many people love butter cookies. But most times, the issue with store-bought butter cookies is that they are usually extremely dry, crumbly, and sandy in texture, and this has made many people want to find a good recipe for homemade soft butter cookies. This one makes such a difference. They are absolutely delicious!

 

The Simplest and Best Recipe for Soft Butter Cookies

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes 
  • Cook Time: 14 minutes 
  • Additional Time: 31 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes 
  • Yield: 30 cookies

Materials and Utensils Needed: Heavy-duty piping bags (Industrial strength), large star piping tip, oven, bowls (large and small), hand mixer, cookie trays, parchments, tablespoons and teaspoons, timer, fridge, and baking sheet.

INGREDIENTS

As far as the list of ingredients goes, this recipe is super simple. You'll have everything you need in your pantry. They are:

  • 1 cup of Unsalted butter (if you only have salted, omit the added salt in the recipe): 1 cup of butter adds flavor, structure, and buttery goodness in each bite. Make sure it’s properly softened to room temperature before beginning.
  • ¾ cup of Sugar (granulated, brown sugar cannot be used!): Like many cookie recipes including these dreamy shortbread cookies, cream butter, and sugar is the base of today’s dough.
  • 1 large egg (egg yolks): 1 egg adds structure, stability, and flavor.
  • 1½ teaspoons of Vanilla and Almond Extract: Flavor and more flavor! Almond extract is also a welcome addition.
  • 2¼ cup flour (all-purpose): Add the flour directly to the wet ingredients. No need to mix it up in a separate bowl.
  • ½ teaspoon of Salt: Salt offsetting the sugar adds flavor.
  • A small amount of milk (1 – 2 Tablespoons -15-30ml): Helps to thin out the cookie dough so it flows through the piping tip. You don’t need much, about 1-2 tablespoons.

Optional Toppings

  • One 4-ounce quality semi-sweet chocolate bar (113g), finely chopped
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Sprinkles or coarse sugar

As you can see, this recipe does not use any leavening agents like baking powder or baking soda, since we don't want the cookie to rise or puff up! The only special tools you'll need are a large, star piping tip and a heavy-duty piping bag.

Having heavy-duty piping bags on hand is always great because you don't have to worry about them popping at the seams, even when working with a thicker batter. No matter how much pressure you push on the bag, it never breaks.

The piping tip you use should be on the larger size and you can also use it to make the perfect frosting swirl for cupcakes.

 

Making Swirly, Soft Butter Cookies - The Best Recipe for Soft Butter Cookies

After finally nailing down the right consistency, after some tries, you get the hang of the shape. The trick to making these is to start by holding your piping bag straight up, applying pressure to push some dough out, and pulling it up just a little bit, before wrapping the swirl around the center.

Because this recipe is so butter-heavy, bakers recommend keeping an extra close watch on them in the oven, and it has been found that it helps to turn the tray halfway through baking so that all the cookies bake evenly.

If you want to keep your cookies soft, bake them until they are very light golden brown on the edges. If you want a crisper cookie, these can hang in the oven for a little longer.

The Steps Involved:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line cookie trays with parchment (if the air temp is on the warmer side, it is a good idea to chill the cookies for 30 minutes before baking, so be sure to plan accordingly).
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter & sugar until light and fluffy using a hand mixer.

Recipe For Soft Butter Cookies: Preparing Soft Butter Cookies - Healthsoothe

  • Add the egg yolks and vanilla and mix on medium speed until well combined.
  • Next, add the flour & salt to the mixture and mix on low speed until large crumbles form.
  • Add the 2 tablespoons of milk and mix until the milk is absorbed. If the dough is not sticky, add another teaspoon of milk until it is sticky and has the consistency of thick buttercream. Avoid using too much milk as this can cause the cookies to spread too much!
  • Transfer the dough to an extra-large, heavy-duty piping bag fitted with a large open star tip.
  • Pipe the dough into rosettes by using the following motion; holding the bag upright, pipe the dough onto the tray and pull up slightly, then wrap around the center and pull gently to release.

Recipe For Soft Butter Cookies: Piping - Healthsoothe

  • Chill if needed.
  • Bake in the oven until light golden brown on the edges, about 13 – 15 minutes.
  • Allow to fully cool on a baking sheet.

 

How to Decorate

Recipe For Soft Butter Cookies: How To Decorate - Healthsoothe

  • If you want to make them more like the traditional blue tin Christmas cookies, then sprinkle some coarse sugar on top to give them the same look and crunch. Otherwise, these can be enjoyed plain, or dipped in chocolate with sprinkles!
  • Place a medium-sized pot filled with water about halfway up on the stove over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer.
  • Place a large heatproof glass bowl over the top of it, and dump in about ½-1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate or white chocolate chips. This double broiler method will allow the chocolate to slowly melt without burning or separating.
  • Stir the chocolates every now and then as they melt. This will take about 15-20 minutes to fully melt.
  • Once melted and smooth all the way through, dip each cookie in about halfway and place back on a baking sheet to let cool and harden. Leave as is or top with sprinkles if you desire. Repeat until all are finished.

 

How to Store

Store cooled and decorated cookies in a Christmas tin or airtight container for up to a week.

 

How to Freeze Cookies

Once the cookies are cooled completely. Place in a freezer-safe zip-top bag. Place in the freezer for 3 months. Remove from the freezer and place on a platter and allow to come to room temp when ready to enjoy. Chocolate-dipped cookies can be stored the same way.

 

Notes

  • Make Ahead Instructions: You can chill the shaped cookies on the baking sheet in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before baking. If chilling for longer than 30 minutes, cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Sometimes I pipe all the swirls close together on 1 baking sheet, then refrigerate for up to 2 days. (Since my refrigerator can’t fit 2-3 sheets at once.) After chilling, the shaped dough is cold, so you can use a flat spatula to pick up the cold shaped dough and arrange on 2-3 baking sheets. You can also freeze the unbaked dough for up to 2-3 months. Bake the frozen shaped dough (no need to thaw) for an extra couple minutes. Baked cookies, with or without chocolate/cherries/sprinkles, freeze well for up to 3 months.
  • Almond Extract: Almond extract adds such a wonderful flavor and bakers don’t recommend skipping it. If desired, you can leave it out completely or add another 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract in its place. You can also substitute with 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, 1 teaspoon lemon extract, or another flavor extract you enjoy. (Some are more potent than others.) Adding 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon is delicious too!
  • No Piping Tip & Using a Cookie Press: If you don’t have a large piping tip and/or you want to use a cookie press, make the spritz cookies (they do not need the milk). If you don’t have a cookie press or large piping tip, snip a 1/2-inch corner off the end of a plastic bag and pipe lines/flat swirls.
  • Optional Chocolate: For the best results, use a 4-ounce “baking chocolate” bar found in the baking aisle. I prefer Bakers or Ghirardelli brands. You can use semi-sweet, milk chocolate, or even white chocolate. Candy melts or almond bark work too. Do not use chocolate chips, as they contain stabilizers preventing them from melting into the proper consistency. After you melt it, if the chocolate is too thick for dipping, stir in 1 teaspoon of canola oil to help thin it out.

 

Piping Butter Cookies - Recipe for Soft Butter Cookies

This cookie dough is piped onto the baking sheet. That’s how the butter cookies get their lovely shape.

Line the cookie sheet? Some swear by using a plain cookie sheet, but lining with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat is fine. (Some bakers use silicone baking mats for all their cookies and these are no different.) If you don’t line the pan, don’t grease it either.

2 Success Tips:

  • Start Small: Place the cookie dough in the piping bag. Start with a little bit of dough so you can determine if it’s creamy enough to pipe. If it’s too thick, it’s impossible to pipe and you’ll have to put the dough back in the bowl and add a little more milk.
  • Chill: I find it’s easiest to stick with simple designs like a swirl or even just a line. Whatever design you pipe, I highly recommend chilling the piped cookies on the baking sheet for at least 20-30 minutes before baking. Without this chill time, the cookies will likely lose their piped shape.

 

Best Piping Tips to Use

The cookie dough is thick, so it’s imperative to use a large piping tip with about a ½ inch opening. (That’s big!) The smaller the size, the harder it will be to pipe. Bakers highly recommend an open star piping tip, but others actually use Ateco 849 which is a closed star tip. The opening is so large that it still works wonderfully!

Here are some options:

  • Ateco 849
  • Wilton 8B
  • Ateco 826 or Ateco 827

The popular Wilton 1M works too, but you may need to add more milk to the cookie dough to thin it out since the piping tip is smaller. Remember, the more milk you add, the longer you need to chill the shaped cookies or else they will over-spread in the oven.

Don’t forget your piping bags, too! (Disposable or Reusable) By the way, these piping tips and a set of bags would be a great holiday gift for any baker.

 

Just in Case, Healthsoothe Has Provided Answers to the Following Foreseen Problems;

Is piping cookie dough difficult?

The only thing that makes it a little more challenging to work with is the fact that the dough is obviously going to be thicker to pipe, versus, say, buttercream. It's stiffer to work with and takes a little muscle to work it out of the piping tip, but as long as you get the consistency of the dough right you'll be fine!

 

How will I know what the right consistency is?

The first time you might make these cookies, you can make a perfect cookie dough ball and it can feel soft enough., but going to pipe it, the dough might literally be impossible to push through the piping bag. It can take a couple of tries to get it right. The key here is that the dough should not form a ball shape.

You should be looking for the dough to be the consistency of stiff American buttercream (or rather, a bit stiffer than you would use for buttercream). The dough should be sticky and stick to the sides of the bowl.

You can test it by running your spatula through the dough. It should have light resistance, but otherwise feel smooth to stir around. The key is to add enough milk. If your flour is on the dry side, you can add more milk to loosen it up. The catch is, to add as little milk as possible.

More milk will make the cookies spread. You do not want these cookies spread, otherwise, you'll lose the piped shape.

 

Help, my dough is too thick! How Do I Un-thicken It?

Before unloading all of the dough into the piping bag, test a small amount of dough first to see if it works out. That way, if you do have to go back and fix it, you won't have to deal with the mess of getting it out of the piping bag and back in again!

If the dough is too thick, simply add a teaspoon of milk at a time to the rest of the dough in the bowl, until it becomes sticky and turns into more of a thick batter. This cookie dough is very forgiving and it's easy to go back and try again.

 

Your New Favorite Cookies – Soft Butter Cookies

The recipe for soft butter cookies comes in 3 Butter Cookie Varieties!

Make 3 varieties from 1 batch;

  • dip baked cookies into melted chocolate and add sprinkles
  • stick a maraschino cherry in the center before baking
  • add sprinkles or coarse sugar before baking

For flavored butter cookie dough, you’ll love these mint chocolate checkerboard cookies, pinwheel cookies, and Neapolitan cookies.

This recipe for Soft Butter Cookies is everything you can hope for and more. It's one of people’s favorite and most versatile cookie recipes, also great for Christmas cookies!

Sometimes bakers like to dress them up with melted chocolate, chocolate chips, or white chocolate chips, and you can drizzle some chocolate on top but dipping the bottoms in chocolate is also great!

Not much experimentation has been done using this dough in a cookie press yet, but it should also work well. If you're not up for making the swirl shape, you can also dollop the dough onto the cookie sheet to make drop cookies.

This recipe for soft butter cookies prepares a heavenly butter cookie perfection for any sweet tooth!

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Learn The Best Recipe for Soft Butter Cookies (with Pictures, Videos & Important Tips)
Learn The Best Recipe For Soft Butter Cookies (With Pictures, Videos &Amp; Important Tips)

Soft butter cookies are cookies that you will instantly fall in love with when you eat them. They melt in the mouth and have a rich buttery flavor.

Type: Dessert

Cuisine: Danish

Keywords: Recipe for Soft Butter Cookies

Recipe Yield: 30 cookies

Calories: 140kcal

Preparation Time: 20M

Cooking Time: 14M

Additional Time: 31M

Total Time: 1H5M

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Unsalted butter (if you only have salted, omit the added salt in the recipe)
  • ¾ cup of Sugar (granulated, brown sugar cannot be used!)
  • 1 large egg (egg yolks)
  • 1½ teaspoons of Vanilla and Almond Extract
  • 2¼ cup flour (all-purpose)
  • ½ teaspoon of Salt
  • A small amount of milk (1 – 2 Tablespoons -15-30ml)

    Optional Toppings:
  • One 4-ounce quality semi-sweet chocolate bar (113g), finely chopped
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Sprinkles or coarse sugar

Recipe Instructions:

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line cookie trays with parchment (if the air temp is on the warmer side, it is a good idea to chill the cookies for 30 minutes before baking, so be sure to plan accordingly).

Learn The Best Recipe For Soft Butter Cookies (With Pictures, Videos &Amp; Important Tips)

Step 2:

In a large bowl, cream the butter & sugar until light and fluffy using a hand mixer.

Learn The Best Recipe For Soft Butter Cookies (With Pictures, Videos &Amp; Important Tips)

Step 3:

Add the egg yolks and vanilla and mix on medium speed until well combined.

Learn The Best Recipe For Soft Butter Cookies (With Pictures, Videos &Amp; Important Tips)

Step 4:

Next, add the flour & salt to the mixture and mix on low speed until large crumbles form.

Learn The Best Recipe For Soft Butter Cookies (With Pictures, Videos &Amp; Important Tips)

Step 5:

Add the 2 tablespoons of milk and mix until the milk is absorbed. If the dough is not sticky, add another teaspoon of milk until it is sticky and has the consistency of thick buttercream. Avoid using too much milk as this can cause the cookies to spread too much!

Learn The Best Recipe For Soft Butter Cookies (With Pictures, Videos &Amp; Important Tips)

Step 6:

Transfer the dough to an extra-large, heavy-duty piping bag fitted with a large open star tip.

Learn The Best Recipe For Soft Butter Cookies (With Pictures, Videos &Amp; Important Tips)

Step 7:

Pipe the dough into rosettes by using the following motion; holding the bag upright, pipe the dough onto the tray and pull up slightly, then wrap around the center and pull gently to release.

Learn The Best Recipe For Soft Butter Cookies (With Pictures, Videos &Amp; Important Tips)

Step 8:

Chill if needed.

Learn The Best Recipe For Soft Butter Cookies (With Pictures, Videos &Amp; Important Tips)

Step 9:

Bake in the oven until light golden brown on the edges, about 13 – 15 minutes.

Learn The Best Recipe For Soft Butter Cookies (With Pictures, Videos &Amp; Important Tips)

Step 10:

Allow to fully cool on a baking sheet.

Learn The Best Recipe For Soft Butter Cookies (With Pictures, Videos &Amp; Important Tips)

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