soft butter cookies on a white plate with christmas ribbon, napkin, and lights around it
Christmas, Cookies & Bars, Desserts

Soft Butter Cookies

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You will instantly fall in love with these old fashion soft butter cookies. They will melt in your mouth and have a rich buttery flavor.

It is a COOKIE SEASON! This is the 3rd annual Fueling a Southern Soul Christmas cookie week and we are starting it off with these insanely delicious soft butter cookies!

Now, it definitely doesn’t have to be Christmas to enjoy these…..duh. But I think there is a little nostalgia with them this time of year.

swirl butter cookies that have been dipped in chocolate stacked on top of each other. A glass of milk, christmas sprinkles, and lights around them.

Do you ever get this tin of butter cookies around the holidays? If so which shape is your fav? I usually the swirl kind first, then the pretzel. Do they all taste the same? Of course, but hello – we all have our favorite shapes!

What I love about these is they aren’t overly sweet. They are perfectly soft and practically melt in your mouth as soon as you take your first bite. They are just the perfect amount of sweetness this holiday season.

So let’s bake!

Ingredients Needed for Butter Cookies

  • 1 Cup Butter – softened to room temp
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • Zest of 1/2 an Orange
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla or Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of Milk

How Do You Make Soft Butter Cookies From Scratch?

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a stand mixer, add your softened butter and sugar and beat with a paddle attachment for 3-4 minutes. You want this to become light and airy and white in color. 
  3. Add in eggs 1 at a time and mix on low just until they are combined.
  4. Add in the flour, orange zest, vanilla, salt, and milk. Mix until just combined and the dough is together. It will be a thicker dough but the milk will help thin slightly to be pipeable.
bowl of cookie dough with a white paddle in it

Different Methods for Baking

There are a couple of different ways to make these soft butter cookies. In the video, I piped them out but you can also use a cookie press or make slices and bakes. Doesn’t matter what you do – total preference!

Piping

  1. Place a Wilton 8B open star piping tip into a heavy-duty piping bag. Snip the tip of the bag to show the tip and fill the bag with about half of the cookie dough.
  2. Massage the dough to warm up with your hands. This batter will be thick. The milk helps thin slightly to make it easier to pipe, but do not add too much milk otherwise, the cookies will spread when baking. Massaging the dough will help warm it up a little and make it a little easier to pipe. Do not be worried if you struggle. It will get easier the warmer the dough is. Just be patient with it and take breaks if needed.
  3. Pipe into a spiral or straight up and down making a star.
  4. Repeat until all the dough is used. 
  5. Place into the oven for 14-15 minutes and until the edge is just barely light brown.
  6. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes.
piped soft butter cookie dough on a baking sheet with the piping bag full of dough next to it

Spritz Cookie Press

  1. If you have a cookie press, this recipe is perfect for it!
  2. Place the dough into the cylinder. Add whatever design disk to the press. Press out the dough according to the instructions. 
  3. Place into the oven for 14-15 minutes and until the edge is just barely light brown.
  4. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes.

Slice and Bake

  1. Place your butter cookie dough onto wax paper, parchment paper, or plastic wrap. Form into a long evenly sized log. Wrap tightly all the way around and on the ends. 
  2. Place in the fridge to chill for an hour.
  3. When ready to bake, remove from the fridge, unwrap, and slice off about a 1/4″ slice and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  4. Repeat with the desired amount of cookies. Place into the oven for 14-15 minutes and until the edge is just barely light brown.
  5. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes.
  6. The dough can be kept in the fridge for up to a week. Slice and bake off as many or little as you wish.

How to Decorate

If you want to make them more like the traditional blue tin Christmas cookies then sprinkle come course sugar on top to give them the same look and crunch.

Otherwise, these can be enjoyed plain, or dipped in chocolate with sprinkles!

  1. Place a medium-sized pot filled with water about halfway up on the stove over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Place a large heatproof glass bowl, over top of it, and dump in about 1/2-1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate or white chocolate chips. This double broiler method will allow the chocolate to slowly melt without burning or separating.
  3. Stir the chocolates every now and then as they melt. This will take about 15-20 minutes to fully melt.
  4. 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. 
soft butter cookies lined up next to each other. some dipped in white chocolate, some dipped in chocolate

How to Store Cookies

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, container, or vacuum seal.

Place in the freezer for 3 months (or a year if vacuum-sealed). Remove from 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. 

**Use code “SOUTHERNSOUL” to get 10% off all Vesta Precision products. Affiliate link**

Christmas Gift Ideas and Cookie Exchange

Love to give baked goods during the holidays? Place some tissue or parchment paper in a Christmas tin and gently arrange these cookies inside.

Anyone who receives them will be extra grateful this holiday season!

You can’t go wrong with a homemade baked good present!

soft butter cookies on a white plate with christmas ribbon, napkin, and lights around it

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soft butter cookies on a white plate with christmas ribbon, napkin, and lights around it

Soft Butter Cookies


  • Author: Heather
  • Total Time: 40 Minutes
  • Yield: 36 1x

Description

You will instantly fall in love with these old fashion soft butter cookies. They will melt in your mouth and have a rich buttery flavor. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 Cup Butter – softened to room temp
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • Zest of 1/2 and Orange
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla or Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt 
  • 12 Tablespoons of Milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a stand mixer, add your softened butter and sugar and beat with a paddle attachment for 3-4 minutes. You want this to become light and airy and white in color. 
  3. Add in eggs 1 at a time and mix on low just until they are combined.
  4. Add in the flour, orange zest, vanilla, salt, and milk. Mix until just combined and the dough is together. It will be a thicker dough but the milk will help thin slightly to be pipeable.

Methods of Baking Butter Cookies

Piping

  1. Place a Wilton 8B open star piping tip into a heavy-duty piping bag. Snip the tip of the bag to show the tip and fill the bag with about half of the cookie dough.
  2. Massage the dough to warm up with your hands. This batter will be thick. The milk helps thin slightly to make it easier to pipe, but do not add too much milk otherwise, the cookies will spread when baking. Massaging the dough will help warm it up a little and make it a little easier to pipe. Do not be worried if you struggle. It will get easier the warmer the dough is. Just be patient with it and take breaks if needed.
  3. Pipe into a spiral or straight up and down making a star.
  4. Repeat until all the dough is used. 
  5. Place into the oven for 14-15 minutes and until the edge is just barely light brown.
  6. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes.

butter cookie dough piped out on a baking sheet before going into the oven

Spritz Cookie Press

  1. If you have a cookie press, this recipe is perfect for it!
  2. Place the dough into the cylinder. Add whatever design disk to the press. Press out the dough according to the instructions. 
  3. Place into the oven for 14-15 minutes and until the edge is just barely light brown.
  4. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes.

Slice and Bake

  1. Place your butter cookie dough onto wax paper, parchment paper, or plastic wrap. Form into a long evenly sized log. Wrap tightly all the way around and on the ends. 
  2. Place in the fridge to chill for an hour.
  3. When ready to bake, remove from the fridge, unwrap, and slice off about a 1/4″ slice and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  4. Repeat with the desired amount of cookies. Place into the oven for 14-15 minutes and until the edge is just barely light brown.
  5. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes.
  6. The dough can be kept in the fridge for up to a week. Slice and bake off as many or little as you wish.

How to Decorate

  1. Place a medium-sized pot filled with water about halfway up on the stove over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Place a large heatproof glass bowl, over top of it, and dump in about 1/2-1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate or white chocolate chips. This double broiler method will allow the chocolate to slowly melt without burning or separating.
  3. Stir the chocolates every now and then as they melt. This will take about 15-20 minutes to fully melt.
  4. 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. 

 

 

Notes

  • The cookies can be enjoyed plain or decorated with chocolate and sprinkles. Mix up the sprinkles for each holiday!
  • All links are affiliate links in the recipe card

How to Freeze Butter Cookies

  1. Once the cookies are cooled completely. Place in a freezer-safe zip-top bag, container, or vacuum seal. Place in the freezer for 3 months (or a year if vacuum-sealed). Remove from 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. 
  • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 164
  • Sugar: 8.5 g
  • Sodium: 7.6 mg
  • Fat: 8.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20.5 g
  • Fiber: 0.4 g
  • Protein: 2.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 35.8 mg

Keywords: Soft Butter Cookies

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Disclosure. Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, I may receive compensation. This compensation comes at no additional cost to you, and as always I only recommend products I trust!  Heather Bilyeu is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
 

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