How to Make Butter Cookies

Butter cookies––also known as Dutch biscuits––are crisp, crumbly cookies made with only a few ingredients. At their most basic, the biscuits have no extra flavoring, although they are often flavored with vanilla and chocolate. You can find them in a variety of shapes and appearances, including marbled, checkered or plain. Butter cookies are similar to sugar cookies and they're often served around Christmas time in the Americas; in Europe and elsewhere, however, these biscuits are enjoyed all year round.


Servings: About 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 500 grams (4 cups) self-rising (self-raising) flour or 250 grams (2 cups) cornflour
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 250 grams (9 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened in room temperature
  • 250 grams (1 1/4 cups) caster (superfine) sugar
  • A pinch of quality salt

Steps

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    Preheat the oven to 180°C/350ºF. Grease a baking tray and sprinkle a little flour on it until it's completely covered.
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    Stir the butter and salt together. Add to a medium bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until it's soft.
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    Add the sugar to the mixture. Continue stirring until the mixture becomes smooth.
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    Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time. Make sure each one is well blended before adding the next.
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    Mix in the self-rising flour. Use a spoon or a fork to mix, but only until a dough forms. Do not over-mix.
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    Sprinkle a bit flour on a table or clean counter. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it for about 15 minutes, or until the dough is firm and smooth. If the dough is still a bit sticky, you can add a little more flour.
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    Roll the dough out. Aim to roll the dough to a 5mm-thickness. Or you can divide the dough in to smaller pieces if you have a smaller space. Just make sure not to make it to thin.
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    Press cookie cutters into the dough to shape cookies. Try to cut as many cookies as you can, using differently shaped cutters for a pretty variety.
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    Place the cookies in rows on the baking tray. Leave sufficient room between cookies, as they will expand in the oven; if they're placed too close together, they'll stick to one another.
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    Sprinkle a little sugar over the cookies before placing them in the oven.
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    Put the baking tray in the preheated oven. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes.
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    Remove from the oven once baked. Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack until they reach room temperature.
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    Serve when cooled. You may store these in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Tips

  • Oven times vary. The times given in this recipe are just guidelines; keep an eye on the color of the cookies as they bake. When done, they will be a nice golden color; do not allow to brown.
  • Always have some extra flour handy, just in case your dough doesn’t come together. Also, have some extra water handy in case your dough becomes too dry.
  • If you want a better taste, try mixing batter with your hands rather than an electric mixer. [citation needed]
  • You can add extra flavor to the cookies by using vanilla sugar instead of regular sugar.
  • To give the cookies an 'exotic' flavor you can a teaspoon of lemon extract.
  • If you don't have any self-rising flour on hand you can use the same amount of white flour and one small packet of instant yeast.
  • If you want, you can add a teaspoon of vanilla essence for a sweeter flavor.
  • These are perfect for quick gifts or ways to say 'thank you'.
  • Add a extra tablespoon of unsalted butter for an extra buttery and fluffy taste.

Warnings

  • Use oven mitts when taking the cookie sheets out of the oven.
  • These cookies bake rather quickly so you must keep an eye on the oven to keep them from burning.
  • Avoid letting them burn, otherwise they will taste unpleasant. Leave them in for about 10-15 minutes to bake fully.
  • The cookies break quite easily, especially while still hot. Be especially gentle when transferring them to cooling racks.

Things You'll Need

  • One medium bowl
  • Wooden spoon or fork
  • Baking tray
  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie cutters or a drinking glass

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