Christmas Butter Cookies

Are you in need of a quick cookie recipe that will star in a cookie exchange or will make great last minute gifts? These Christmas Butter Cookies will not disappoint. They are flaky, buttery and darn good.

These cookies are so easy to make, and they will keep for a week.

These cookies are so easy to make, and they will keep for a week.

Classic Version in 4 ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1-1 gluten-free baking flour)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus 1/2 cup for dusting

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into chunks

1 teaspoon water


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Add the flour, salt, and powdered sugar to a food processor and pulse to combine. Add in the vanilla, the butter and the 1 teaspoon of water. Pulse together just until a dough is formed. Put the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log, about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 5 inches long. Tightly twist each end of the wrap in opposite directions. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

  3. Slice the log into 1/3-inch thick disks. Arrange on nonstick cookie sheets, parchment lined or Silpat lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until the edges are just light brown, about 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the pans half way through the baking process. Remove from the oven and let cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks. After about 3 minutes dust with powdered sugar using a sieve or fine mesh stainer. Enjoy!

  4. Variations:

Chai Spice Tea Shortbread Cookies:

  1. Pulse together the tea with the flour and salt in a food processor just until the tea is in small pieces evenly distributed throughout the flour. Then add the powdered sugar, vanilla, the butter and the 1 teaspoon of water. Continue as instructed above.

Toasted Pecan Shortbread Fingers:

  1. Pulse the toasted and chopped pecans into the dough and then shape into a flattened round disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. On a flour dusted surface, roll the dough out to approximately 1/3-inch thick. (If the dough is too hard to roll or begins to crack, let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes until pliable.) With a sharp knife, cut the dough into rectangle shapes about 1 by 3-inches. Arrange on the prepared baking sheets and follow the cooking instructions as above. Dust slightly cooled cookies with powdered sugar through a fine mesh strainer.

Cook’s Note

Store in airtight container for up to a week or freeze uncooked log for up to a month. Also, use the freshest ingredients possible for the best tasting cookies.

Recipe adapted from Claire Robinson of Food Network

mary van hielFood, Love