Old-fashioned butter cookies, also known as shortbread cookies, are simple yet classic cookies with a rich and buttery flavor. Here’s a traditional recipe for making these delicious cookies:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Optional: colored sugar, sprinkles, or candied cherries for decoration
- Preheat the Oven:
- Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Cream the Butter and Sugar:
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the room-temperature butter and granulated sugar until the mixture is smooth and creamy. This can take about 2-3 minutes.
Add Vanilla and Salt:
- Mix in the vanilla extract and the salt, making sure they are evenly incorporated into the butter and sugar mixture.
Incorporate the Flour:
- Gradually add the all-purpose flour to the butter mixture, mixing until a soft dough forms. Be careful not to overmix; you want to avoid developing too much gluten, which can make the cookies tough.
Roll and Shape the Dough:
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to your desired thickness. For traditional shortbread cookies, aim for about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
Cut Out the Cookies:
- Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes from the dough. Place the cut-out cookies on the prepared baking sheet. You can also use a knife to cut the dough into squares or rectangles for a more rustic look.
- Decorate (Optional):
- If you’d like, you can decorate the cookies with colored sugar, sprinkles, or a small piece of candied cherry. Gently press the decorations into the dough.
- For crisper cookies, you can place the baking sheet with the cut-out cookies in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes before baking. This helps the cookies hold their shape.
- Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until they’re just starting to turn golden at the edges. The exact baking time may vary based on the thickness of your cookies.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the old-fashioned butter cookies have cooled, serve and enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.
These butter cookies are wonderfully simple and delightfully buttery. They’re perfect for any occasion or as a homemade gift for friends and family.