Easy Christmas Butter Cookies

by Eat Well with Lex

These easy Christmas butter cookies are classic holiday cookies known for their rich, melt-in-your mouth texture. They are easy to make and crafted with simplicity in mind. The recipe only 6 simple ingredients that you probably already have at home. To add a festive cheer, dip these butter cookies in chocolate then top with holiday sprinkles or fill the center with a fresh homemade jam.

Looking for more butter Christmas cookies, check out my Spiced Cranberry Thumbprint Cookie Recipe.

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Close-up of homemade Christmas butter cookies. Eatwellwithlex.com

What are Butter Cookies

At their core, butter cookies are a combination of simple ingredients – butter, sugar, egg, flour and a touch of vanilla. These cookies boast a rich flavor and a tender, melt-in-you-mouth texture. Their straightforward yet classic recipe allows for versatility, making them a canvas for creative shapes, decorations, and added flavors.

Reasons to Make Christmas Butter Cookies

One bite into these Christmas cookies, and you’ll understand why they are cherished during the holiday season. The buttery goodness practically dissolves in your mouth, creating a taste that evokes warm memories and the joy of the holiday season.

These Classic Christmas Cookies are:

  • Rich in flavor that’s hard to resist
  • Versatile allowing for various shapes, sizes, and creative decorations
  • Only requires simple pantry staples
  • Gift-worthy holiday treats
  • Easy to make and quick
  • The best Christmas cookies recipe
A tray of festive Christmas butter cookies topped with chocolate and holiday sprinkles. eatwellwithlex.com

If you love holiday treats, you might also like my Christmas Chex Mix.

Ingredients for Christmas Butter Cookies

  • Butter: The star of the show. Opt for high-quality unsalted butter. Make sure it’s softened but not melted.
  • Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens the butter cookies and balances the richness of the butter. It also contributes to the cookies’ crisp edges.
  • Egg: Eggs play a crucial role in binding the ingredients together and providing structure to the cookies. They contribute to the cookies’ texture and help create a tender crumb.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour is the backbone of our cookie recipe, providing structure and stability. Make sure to measure the flour accurately.
  • Salt: Enhances the flavor and balanced the sweetness of the cookies.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract imparts a warm, aromatic flavor to our Christmas butter cookies. It enhances the overall taste, adding a subtle sweetness and depth of flavor. Choose pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
  • Decoration: These are optional but they are what make these classic butter cookies perfect for the holidays. I used milk chocolate, holiday-themed sprinkles, chopped pistachios and raspberry jam. See more detail on how to shape and decorate butter cookies below.
Overview of ingredients for butter cookies.

How to Make Christmas Butter Cookies

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream Butter and Sugar: In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld or stand mixer, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. This step is crucial for achieving a tender texture in your cookies.

Add Egg and Vanilla: Add the egg and vanilla extract to the butter-sugar mixture. Mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

Incorporate Flour and Salt: Gradually add the all-purpose flour and salt to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Be careful not to over mix, as this can result in dense cookies.

Assemble Piping Bag: Fit a large star-shaped piping tip into the end of a piping bag. Spoon the cookie dough into the piping bag and twist the top of the bag to secure the dough.

Create the Cookie Shapes: On a parchment-lined baking sheet, hold the piping bag at a 90-degree angle. Squeeze the bag to release the dough, starting from the center and working your way outward in a circular motion. Create swirls and flower shapes. (See more details about piping butter cookies below) If you plan on adding jam, create a well in the center of the cookies and add the jam before baking.

Make sure to leave enough space between each piped cookie to allow for spreading during baking.

Chill the Dough: Place the baking sheet with the uncooked cookies in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes. Do not skip this step because it ensures that the cookies hold their shape.

Bake and Decorate: Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden. Keep a close eye on them to prevent over baking. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cookies are cooled, let your creativity shine! Dip them in melted chocolate and sprinkle with holiday-themed sprinkles or chopped pistachios.

How to Pipe Butter Cookies

Piping Christmas butter cookies adds a touch of artistry to the experience but also gives them the beautiful shape and look that they are known for.

Tools you’ll Need:

I highly recommend the Wilton 8B or Ateco 849 pipping tips. These type of tips will give your cookies the classic rosette appearance.

Steps for Piping Butter Cookies

Assemble the Piping Bag: Fit a large star-shaped piping tip into the end of a piping bag. Spoon the cookie dough into the piping bag and twist the top of the bag to secure the dough.

Pipe Rosettes: On a parchment-lined baking sheet, hold the piping bag at a 90-degree angle. Squeeze the bag to release the dough, starting from the center and working your way outward in a circular motion.

How to pipe butter cookies rosettes

Other shapes: Using the same tip, hold the piping bag about ½ inch from the parchment paper at a 90-degree angle. Gently o release the dough, creating a circular shape. To release slightly push down in the center and lift it to break the dough. This will also create a small well in the center to fill with jam.

Success Tips:

  • Keep the dough and your hands cool to prevent the dough from becoming too soft.
  • Practice piping on a plate or parchment paper before moving to the baking sheet.
  • Experiment with different sizes for varied results.
  • For uniformity, you can use a template or draw circles on the parchment paper as a guide.

Decorating Christmas Butter Cookies

Once your cookies are baked and cool, it’s time to decorate. These butter cookies are delicious and beautiful on their own but the decorations is what makes them festive holiday cookies. Here some creative ideas to make your cookies standout.

  1. Chocolate Dip or Drizzle: Melt high-quality chocolate—dark, milk, or white—and drizzle it over the cooled cookies or drip half the cookies into the chocolate.
  2. Holiday Themes Sprinkles: Sprinkles are the best decorations for Christmas cookies. Choose a mix of red and green holiday-themed sprinkles. Sprinkle them over the cookies before the chocolate sets.
  3. Chopped Pistachios: You can use any nuts but finely chopped pistachio adds. a vibrant green color and a delicious crunch to the cookies.
  4. Homemade Jam Filling: For an extra burst of sweetness, create a well in the center of the cookies and fill with a dollop of your favorite jam. Raspberry, strawberry, or apricot jams works particularly well.
  5. Powdered Sugar Dusting: For a simple and classic finish, lightly dust your cooled butter cookies with powdered sugar. This adds a snowy touch, perfect for the winter holiday theme.
Christmas butter cookies dipped in chocolate
Butter cookies with jam
Christmas cookies with pistachios

Success Tips for Butter Cookies

  • Allow the butter to come to room temperature before incorporating it into the dough. This ensures proper creaming with sugar and results in a light, tender texture.
  • Whip the butter and sugars thoroughly. This usually takes several minutes. Aim for a pale and fluffy consistency.
  • For a tender texture, avoid over mixing the dough once the flour is added. Mix until just combined.
  • Chill the dough adequately to prevent excessive spreading during baking.
  • Measure ingredients accurately.

How to Store Christmas Butter Cookies

Transfer the cooled cookies to an airtight container. If you need to stack multiple layers of cookies in the container, separate each layer with parchment paper to prevent sticking and maintain the appearance of decorated cookies.

Butter cookies generally do well at room temperature. However, if your kitchen is particularly warm, and you’re storing the cookies for an extended period, you may opt to store them in the refrigerator. Ensure the container is well-sealed to prevent absorption of odors from the fridge.

Melt-in-your-mouth Christmas butter cookies

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use salted butter in my butter cookie recipe?

Yes, you can, but it’s recommended to use unsalted butter to have better control over the salt content in your cookies.

Why did my butter cookies spread too much during baking?

Overly soft or melted butter, warm dough, or inadequate chilling can cause excessive spreading. Ensure your butter is softened, not melted, and chill the dough as directed in the recipe.

What’s the purpose of chilling the butter cookie dough?

Chilling the dough helps solidify the fats, control spreading during baking, and enhances the flavor and texture of the cookies.

Why are my butter cookies tough?

Over mixing the dough can lead to overdeveloped gluten, resulting in tough cookies. Mix the ingredients only until combined for a tender texture.

How long do butter cookies stay fresh?

When stored in an airtight container, butter cookies typically stay fresh for up to a week at room temperature. They can be frozen for longer storage.

Can I use a cookie press for butter cookies?

Yes, a cookie press can be used to create various shapes with butter cookie dough. Ensure the dough is the right consistency for the press.

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Close-up of homemade Christmas butter cookies. Eatwellwithlex.com

Christmas Butter Cookies

Irresistible melt-in-your mouth butter cookies that are easy to make and requires only 6 ingredients. They are dipped in chocolate, filled with jam and sprinkled with festive decorations making them perfect for the holidays.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 30 cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Toppings

  • Chocolate melted
  • Holiday-themed sprinkles
  • Chopped pistachios
  • Fruit Jam – Raspberry Strawberry, Cranberry, Apricot

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream Butter and Sugar

  • In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld or stand mixer, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Whip the butter and sugars thoroughly. This usually takes several minutes. Aim for a pale and fluffy consistency. This step is crucial for achieving a tender texture in your cookies.

Add Egg and Vanilla

  • Add the egg and vanilla extract to the butter-sugar mixture. Mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

Incorporate Flour and Salt

  • Gradually add the all-purpose flour and salt to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Be careful not to over mix, as this can result in dense cookies.

Assemble Piping Bag

  • Fit a large star-shaped piping tip into the end of a piping bag. Spoon the cookie dough into the piping bag and twist the top of the bag to secure the dough.I highly recommend the Wilton 8B or Ateco 849 pipping tips. These type of tips will give your cookies the classic rosette appearance.

Create the Cookie Shapes

  • On a parchment-lined baking sheet, hold the piping bag at a 90-degree angle. Squeeze the bag to release the dough, starting from the center and working your way outward in a circular motion. Create swirls and flower shapes. (See more details about piping butter cookies in text above)
    Piping rosettes for butter Christmas cookies
  • If you plan on adding jam, create a well in the center of the cookies and add the jam before baking.
    Butter cookies with jam
  • Make sure to leave enough space between each piped cookie to allow for spreading during baking.

Chill the Dough

  • Place the baking sheet with the uncooked cookies in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes. Do not skip this step because it ensures that the cookies hold their shape.

Bake and Decorate

  • Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden. Keep a close eye on them to prevent over baking. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once the cookies are cooled, let your creativity shine! Dip them in melted chocolate and sprinkle with holiday-themed sprinkles or chopped pistachios.
    Decorations and toppings for Christmas butter cookies.

Notes

Success Tips:
  • Allow the butter to come to room temperature before incorporating it into the dough. This ensures proper creaming with sugar and results in a light, tender texture.
  • Whip the butter and sugars thoroughly. This usually takes several minutes. Aim for a pale and fluffy consistency.
  • For a tender texture, avoid over mixing the dough once the flour is added. Mix until just combined.
  • Chill the dough adequately to prevent excessive spreading during baking.
  • Measure ingredients accurately.
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1 comment

Spiced Cranberry Thumbprint Cookie Recipe | Eat Well With Lex December 19, 2023 - 10:03 pm

[…] for more holiday baking ideas? Check out my Christmas Butter Cookies and The Best Rum Cake […]

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