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Butter Cookies Recipe & Video

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When you want a buttery sweet cookie, that's wonderfully crisp, try these Butter Cookies. I think the best way to describe them is to say they are like an enriched shortbread cookie. This batter is so versatile. You can form the batter into a log shape to make slice and bake cookies. You can chill the batter and roll it out to make cut-out cookies. Or, you can make Spritz cookies using a cookie press. Once baked the cookies can be topped with a buttercream frosting or you can dip the ends in melted chocolate. Sometimes I even like to take two cookies and sandwich them together with jam, lemon curd, buttercream frosting, or a chocolate ganache filling.

Butter is the focus in these cookies and there are many high quality foreign and domestic brands to choose from. I like to use European-style butters (cultured butters) which have a higher percentage of butterfat which gives the cookies a richer flavor. You can use either salted or unsalted butter. My preference is unsalted as I prefer its sweet flavor and you can control the amount of salt in the recipe. Because the amount of salt added to salted butter can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Pure vanilla extract can be added to the batter if you like your cookies to have a vanilla flavor. Or you could add a small amount of pure almond extract. These cookies store really well and they can also be frozen.

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Butter Cookies: In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract (if using). 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Divide the dough in half (350 grams for each half) and shape each half into an 8 inch (20 cm) log. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until firm (at least two hours or preferably overnight). (Can freeze the unbaked logs for up to two months.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Place oven rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Once the log is firm, with a sharp knife, slice cookies about 1/4 inch (.5 cm) thick.

Place the cookies on the baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Bake the cookies for about 10-15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Unfrosted, these cookies can be stored several weeks at room temperature.

Frosting (optional): In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and shortening until smooth and well blended. Beat in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sugar. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the milk and beat until frosting is of spreading consistency. Add more milk or sugar if needed. Can tint portions of frosting with desired food color.

Makes about 60 cookies.

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Butter Cookies:

1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar

1 large egg (50 grams out of shell), at room temperature

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract (optional)

2 1/4 cups (295 grams) all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon (1 grams) salt

Confectioners Frosting: (optional)

1/4 cup (55 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup (55 grams) shortening

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) pure vanilla extract

2 cups (230 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted

1 - 2 tablespoons milk

Note: You can omit the shortening and simply use 1/2 cup (113 grams) butter.

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