Christmas Butter Cookies

christmas butter cookies
Christmas butter cookies

Christmas butter cookies are iconic and nostalgic for good reason! Their light, buttery flavor make them perfect with a hot cup of tea or coffee, and they are the perfect canvas for other flavors.

Do you remember those tins of butter cookies you would find laying around your grandma’s house? And every time you opened one it was just sewing supplies? It’s the ultimate childhood let down. However, butter cookies are actually great for cookie tins because they last much longer than most cookies! That makes these the perfect cookie for gifting Christmas cookie trays.

Christmas butter cookies

How to Make Christmas Butter Cookies

Butter cookies start with a very basic cookie dough. These cookies get their iconic shape from piping the dough. It sounds a whole lot more difficult than it truly is! The process can be broken down into very simple steps.

  1. Make the dough.
  2. Pipe the dough using a very large open star tip and a pastry bag.
  3. Chill the piped cookies on a cookie sheet. If we chilled the dough before, then it would be too difficult to pipe!
  4. Bake the cookies
  5. Dip in chocolate if desired!

Ingredient Line Up

  • Unsalted butter – Use room temperature butter for these cookies. You should be able to make an indent in the butter by applying a bit of pressure.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Large egg yolks – Room temperature egg yolks are highly encouraged!
  • Pure vanilla extract – If you’ve got good vanilla, then this is the time to use it! It is one of the central flavors in this recipe. A bit of almond extract is also a great addition if desired.
  • Salt
  • All purpose flour – Measure your flour by spooning it into your measuring cups and then leveling off. It is super important that you don’t over measure your flour. Otherwise your dough will be very difficult to pipe!
  • Milk – The amount of milk you use will depend on the consistency of your dough. Add milk 1 tbsp at a time until you reach a pipe-able consistency. Keep in mind that the more milk you add, the more your cookies will spread.
  • Toppings – Coarse sugar, chocolate, and maraschino cherries are popular toppings. Use whatever you want or leave them plain.
christmas butter cookies

Tips for Success

  • Measure your flour correctly to prevent a super thick dough.
  • Use room temperature ingredients so that they incorporate fully into the dough.
  • Be careful adding the milk! The more milk, the more the cookies will spread.
  • Add the dough to your piping bag a little at a time. That way it is easier to adjust the consistency if needed!
  • Chill the piped cookies. I know, chilling dough can be a drag. However, your cookies are less likely to spread the longer you chill.
  • Use a Wilton 8B or another large, open star tip.
christmas butter cookies

Christmas Butter Cookies

Butter cookies are the perfect cookie for your Christmas cookie tray! They stay fresh much longer than most cookies and are great for gifting.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies


Christmas Butter Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-3 tbsp milk

Chocolate (optional)

  • 4 oz semi sweet chocolate such as Ghirardelli or Bakers
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil optional


Christmas Butter Cookies

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy – about 2 minutes
  • Turn the mixer to medium and add the egg yolks one at a time. Add in the vanilla.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. Add in the salt and flour and beat on medium.
  • Add in the milk 1 tbsp at a time until the dough reaches a pipe-able consistency. Keep in mind that the more milk you add, the more your cookies will spread.
  • Transfer about one third of the dough to a piping bag fitted with a very large tip, such as Wilton 8B.
  • Pipe swirls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat mat for easy clean up. You can also use an ungreased, unlined baking sheet.
  • Chill the piped cookies in the fridge 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Bake chilled cookies in batches for approximately 13-15 minutes.
  • Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate (optional)

  • Melt the chopped chocolate and coconut oil together in a saucepan over low heat. Alternatively, you can microwave them in 20 second increments, stirring in between each.
Keyword butter cookies, christmas cookies

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