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Traditional Christmas Butter Cookies

Updated on January 14, 2015
Big plump butter cookies molded by hand.
Big plump butter cookies molded by hand.

A Family Christmas Cookie Tradition

A funny thing about food and holidays is how they are very nostalgic. Eating a family favorite traditional holiday treat can take you back to warm childhood memories.

Christmas baking time brings with it a flood of memories of decorating cookies with my grandmother. And when I take that first bite of my favorite cookie it is almost as though I am a little girl again.

Photos on this article are my own unless otherwise credited.

Sugar cookies with sprinkles are a traditional holiday treat.

Sugar cookies are a traditional Christmas treat.
Sugar cookies are a traditional Christmas treat. | Source

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted powder sugar
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Christmas snowflake shape cookies.
Christmas snowflake shape cookies. | Source

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 deg. F
  2. Cream butter using a pastry cutter and add in the powdered sugar gradually. Continue to cream the butter and powder sugar together until it is fluffy. (As an alternate method, you can cream the butter and sugar together using an electric mixer.)
  3. Add in beaten egg and vanilla and blend together.
  4. Sift together the remaining dry ingredients and then blend into the creamed mixture.
  5. Divide the dough in half, place in a bowl in the fridge, covered, and chill. (I usually chill an hour minumum.)
  6. Flour the rolling pin and rolling surface well. If a pastry cloth is used, it needs to be floured well. Take small sections of the dough and roll out to 1/8" thick. Dip a cookie cutter with the cutting edge into flour and then use to cut the cookie shape from the dough.
  7. Place cut out cookies on cookie sheet and bake for 6 minutes at 400 deg. F. Cool on bakers rack.
  8. Makes about 6 dozen medium sized cut cookies.

The frosting recipe is just a little further down the page.

You can see each individual cookie baking step here.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cookie ingredientsBeat egg and vanillaYou can use a hand creamer or electric mixer. Cream together butter, powdered sugar, beaten egg with vanilla.Blend in sifted dry ingredients.Divide and chill at least one hour.Flour your rolling surface well.Roll and cut cookies.Bake at 400 deg. F for 6 minutes and cool.Make frosting and decorate cookies.
Cookie ingredients
Cookie ingredients
Beat egg and vanilla
Beat egg and vanilla
You can use a hand creamer or electric mixer. Cream together butter, powdered sugar, beaten egg with vanilla.
You can use a hand creamer or electric mixer. Cream together butter, powdered sugar, beaten egg with vanilla.
Blend in sifted dry ingredients.
Blend in sifted dry ingredients.
Divide and chill at least one hour.
Divide and chill at least one hour.
Flour your rolling surface well.
Flour your rolling surface well.
Roll and cut cookies.
Roll and cut cookies.
Bake at 400 deg. F for 6 minutes and cool.
Bake at 400 deg. F for 6 minutes and cool.
Make frosting and decorate cookies.
Make frosting and decorate cookies.

Butter Frosting

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Thoroughly cream butter and sugar together with a pastry cutter.
  2. Add in the vanilla and then the cream to the desired consistency. More or less cream can be added to get the desired thickness.
  3. (I had 4 tbsp of cream but I keep having to add, so I changed it to 1/4 c, you may even go up to 1/3 depending on the consistency. You want it thick enough to spread well and not too thin, unless you like just a thin coating. For adding candy to the cookie, a thicker frosting holds it on.)
  4. The mixture can be divided into bowls and food coloring added to color the frosting.
  5. Spread frosting onto completely cooled cookies.
  6. Top with candy sprinkles if desired.
  7. Do not wait to apply candy sprinkles because they need to be applied before the frosting is set.
  8. To set the frosting, place in the refrigerator for a short period of time and store in a sealed container.

Please give this cookie recipe a one to five star vote here.

Cast your vote for Butter Cookies

What if you don't like frosted cookies?

If you don't like to frost the cookies you can generously shake powdered sugar over them while they are still hot.

Be very generous, like a lot.

Kinda like a powdered sugar donut!

Book open to a page that offers Christmas Greetings.
Book open to a page that offers Christmas Greetings. | Source

For the Love of Cookbooks

I love our traditional family recipes, but I also like to try new recipes to go with them as well. My husband is a huge chocoholic so I try to find some great chocolate Christmas cookie recipes to experiment with.

I also love cookbooks. I have a whole bookshelf full of them and love to browse through them. Sometimes I get an inspiration from a book and other times I pick up a new one to search through.

I love looking at the photos and leafing through the books searching for ideas.

Stones For Baking The Perfect Cookie

Old Stone Oven Rectangular Pizza Stone
Old Stone Oven Rectangular Pizza Stone

The more you use a baking stone the better they work, and the more flavorful your food will be.

Baking stones will just get better with age, as long as you treat them right.

 
Cookie cutters come in so many wonderful shapes, styles, and sizes.
Cookie cutters come in so many wonderful shapes, styles, and sizes. | Source

I Love to Collect Cookie Cutters too!

I have a huge plastic tub of cookie cutters I have collected over the years. I find that I have my favorites that I tend to use over and over. But having a nice variety really helps when trying to find just the right shape for a special gift of cookies or special occasion.

You can make these cookies all year round, so don't think they are "just Christmas cookies".

Think what you could do with them for Valentine's day with a heart shaped cutter and candy topping.

You can decorate them for a birthday party, the ideas are endless.

Here is another way to use this cookie dough!

Add 1 cup of chopped walnuts.

Next, roll into small cookie sized balls in the palm of your hand.

Bake them as directed for the rolled cookies, test to see if done, it varies how long to cook by size.

Roll in powdered sugar while hot & you have Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies!

Beautiful and yummy cookies are welcome all year round!

Holidays, birthdays, special occasions

or just because.

Cookies seem to be an international word for yum.

Family Traditions

I believe that every family has a special cookie that is baked with a loved one. When I was a little girl my favourite cookies to bake with my Grandma were peanut butter.

I can still remember to this day helping her out with the loads of peanut butter cookies we would have to bake to keep all of us grandchildren happy, and was always accompanied by a cold glass of fresh milk from her very own cow.

Pop your cookies into a cookie jar that is as sweet as they are.

Here is a great gift idea to go with those cookies!

You made these yummy cookies as a gift and now you need to put them in something.

Why not give a wonderful cookie jar along with the cookies? They can reuse the cookie jar for years to come.

You can give them a Christmas themed jar or something that they love to collect.

It's no secret that I love cats, but someone gave me a sheep cookie jar! LOL

Are you craving cookies yet?

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    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      I think that I am a cookie addict. I love my cookies. Happy Holidays.

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this yummy-looking cookie recipe! I liked the "baking steps" slideshow.

    • profile image

      KarenCookieJar 6 years ago

      Yum, I'd love some for breakfast right now!

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 6 years ago

      Yum, yum! These would be great for any holiday that calls for a cookie...um, that would be all of 'em. ;) *Blessed today because cookies are an angels best friend.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Absolutely! Your mom's butter cookie recipe is definitely making me hungry for some yummy cookies!

    • profile image

      AngryBaker 6 years ago

      These look yummy... will have to try them

    • SoniaCarew profile image

      SoniaCarew 6 years ago

      Oh yeah! My mother used to make the most delicious cookies.

      Love your lens! Congrats on your purple star.

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 6 years ago from Maryland

      @Brandi Bush: Just wanted to let you know that I pinned this today and it's already been re-pinned 3 times! Apparently lots of people think they look delicious! ;) Thanks for stopping by and telling me more about them!

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 6 years ago from Maryland

      These look so good! Great lens! I think I'll bookmark this and make them with my kids. Thanks! ;)

    • profile image

      sheezie77 6 years ago

      Amazing lens! well done!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Butter cookies are the best!

    • M Schaut profile image

      Margaret Schaut 6 years ago from Detroit

      I love butter cookies! I don't much care for the frosting, but the kids do! You made some great alternative suggestions, though!

    • Inkhand profile image

      Inkhand 6 years ago

      Making these delicious cookies is a great family tradition.

    • profile image

      VillaDejaBlue 6 years ago

      Nice lens.

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 6 years ago

      Thanks foe this delicious Lens; I love my cookies, perhaps a little too much.

    • julescorriere profile image

      Jules Corriere 6 years ago from Jonesborough TN

      Congratulations on being part of the Top 100. I love the recipe, and even more, the story beind it. Thank you so much for sharing it. What a beautiful tradition you have.

    • lilymom24 profile image

      lilymom24 6 years ago

      Butter cookies and butter frosting ~ Yummy! =)

    • Auntiekatkat profile image

      Auntiekatkat 6 years ago

      Congrats on being nominated for Community Favorite Lenses of 2011. A wonderful lens. Fortunately we both share one thing it was easier to vote than for most as mine was my "why-I-am a- vegetarian was nominated as well. A proud moment for all of us. Good luck in the voting.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 6 years ago

      I sure wish I didn't like cookies so much but I DO! The recipe sounds perfect and a must bake. Thumbs up and angel blessed.

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 6 years ago

      Your sugar cookies sound delicious. Congratulations on being one of the final 100 favorite Squidoo lenses of 2011!

    • snazzify lm profile image

      Katie Harp 6 years ago

      blessed by a squid angel :) <3

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 6 years ago

      Your cookies sound wonderful! Congrats on making the top 100!

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 6 years ago

      I like nothing better than a good butter cookie. Done correctly they just melt in your mouth. So glad I found this lens on the 100 Community Favorites page. (My guacamole lens is there as well!)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Congratulations for being in the top 100 Community Favorites.

    • Mistl profile image

      Mistl 6 years ago

      I am with you on cookies being international for Yummy.

    • Winter52 LM profile image

      Winter52 LM 6 years ago

      Now here is a recipe that I just have to try... butter makes everything taste better!!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 6 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      lovely treat for this christmas season. beautifully constructed lens.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      My husband's favorite. I'm visit others who finished the cookie quest. I love cookies and this reads like a very good recipe. Hope you have a good holiday.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 6 years ago from Templeton, CA

      This brings back memories. I remember making butter cookies with my mom before Christmas every year, but she liked to press them in a cookie press, so that's what I remember -- decorating the wreaths with red cinnamon candies and such.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you and blessings to your Mom for providing us with these magical cookies!

    • annleecakes profile image

      Trulee Ann 6 years ago from Arkansas City, Kansas

      Osiyo:

      We are going to try your suggestions. Sound yummy!

      Blessings.......Annlee

    • Coreena Jolene profile image
      Author

      Coreena Jolene 6 years ago

      @poutine: Thank you! I am glad to hear you like my borders. I have fun making them.

    • Showpup LM profile image

      Showpup LM 6 years ago

      I love butter cookies! Mmmmmm....

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      These can be a delicious treat. Your recipe sounds good!

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

      Cookies sound nice but your graphics are also delicious! Blessed by a starving angel.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Oh yes, I am craving some of your great sounding Butter Cookies

    • profile image

      poutine 6 years ago

      I like your colorful borders, it makes for a very happy lens.

    • Susan300 profile image

      Susan300 6 years ago

      Yes!! :)

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