The Basic, Easy and Wonderful Butter Cookies

This is the very Best Easy, Basic and Crispy Butter Cookie dough I have tried. This is extremely versatile and delicious recipe that you can use as a plain cookie, filled, decorated, or as a tart shell. This dough makes a crispy rich butter flavored cookie. Great to give a cookie to Santa, your Valentine or in a school lunch or after dinner treat.  I am sure you will receive a smile in return for one of these tasty treats.

Have you ever tried a new cookie recipe, for example, The Best Easy, Rich and Crispy Butter Cookies you got all excited, bought everything, did the work according to the recipe and still they end up wrong?  The cookie is nothing like the picture or what you remembered your mother’s cookie to be. They ran together and were flat, or the cookie was puffy instead of flat, greasy, crumbly, hard, no flavor, or just not what they’re supposed to be. You feel frustrated and disappointed and as if it was expensive wasted time. Now you ask, what went wrong? I hope to provide some answers. It has happened to me and so many others. With these clues, I hope to help you.

Decorating cookies is great fun to do alone  or in a group of friends, or kids.


Rich and Chrispy Butter Cookies

It is always good to have a basic cookie recipe you can rely on and change when you like. This All Purpose Rich and Chrispy Butter Cookies basic recipe is ready for so many variations! Great for any snack, holiday, gift or even a tart crust. Enjoy!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 dozen cookies
Calories 108 kcal
Author Laurie


  • 3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temputure
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest *optional


Butter Cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (or 180 degrees C). Prepare 2 baking sheet pans with parchment paper or grease with butter. Sift together the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar into a large bowl. In a bowl, beat with a spoon or electric beater, room temperature butter, sugar. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture becomes light and fluffy and a pale color and thoroughly blended, for about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time then add vanilla and lemon zest. Slowly add the dry ingredients stir until well blended. It is easier to finish adding the flour by hand. Do not over mix to prevent the flour from developing the gluten, plus it will prevent break down the air bubbles in the creamed mixture.
  2. The dough will be soft. Divide the dough into fourths, dust it with flour. Flatten the dough slightly to about 1 inch thick. and wrap each piece in wax paper or plastic wrap. Flatten the dough slightly and chill it for at least 3 hours or overnight. Dough may be frozen, wrapped in plastic wrap then foil, 2 months. This way you can bake as you need cookies.
  3. Let the cold dough soften slightly before rolling out. Roll out the dough, 1 piece at a time, 1/8-1/4 inch thick on a floured surface. Cut out cookies with a 2 inch round or decorative cutter dipped in flour. Make cookies with the dough scraps in the same manner. If desired, at this point brush the cookies with the cookie glaze and sprinkle them with the colored decorating sugars. .
  4. Transfer the cookies with a spatula to buttered baking sheets, or baking sheet with parchment paper, arranging cookies 2 inches apart, they will spread out while baking. You can do some decorating if you like before baking and more after baking. Bake the cookies in a preheated moderate oven, 350 degrees. Bake cookies in the middle of oven until golden around edges, 10 to 12 minutes, Transfer them with the spatula to racks, and let them cool. Cookies may be kept in an airtight container at room temperature 5 days; freeze them for long-term storage.

Decorated Cookies

  1. If desired, at this point paint undecorated baked cookies with the vibrant cookie paints, arrange them on a baking sheets, and put them in a preheated hot oven, 400 degrees for 1 minute, or until the paint is set. Or paint undecorated baked cookies with the pastel cookie paints, no further baking is necessary.


  1. *Place room temperature cookie dough in a pastry bag that has a star tip or plain #7 tip. Fill dough about 1/2 full then twist the bag until the dough begins to cone out. Pipe on to a preparedbaking sheet pan, forming shapes. After each cookie cut off the dough
  2. *Black and White Checkerboard Cookies: Place one half of the dough in a separate bowl and add 1/3 cup cocoa powder. On a floured surface roll each dough out to 1/4 nch thick and about a 3x9 inch rectangle strip. Trim the edges. Place the doughon the baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour . Beat 1 egg in a small bowl. When the dough is cold cut the dough into 4 strips about 1/2 inch wide. Arrange in a checker board pattern. Brush egg between each layer of dough as a glue to hold the cookie together. Repeat with the remainig dough. Firmly wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. When cold trim off the ends. When cold unwrap and cutinto slices 1/4 inch thick. Place about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake as before.
  3. *Spiral Cookies: Prepare the basic cookie the same as with the Black and White above but, this time, roll each dough to a 15 x 8-inch rectangle. Brush the bottom layer with the egg then stack the dough one on top of the other. Lightly roll the top layer with the rolling pin to make sure thy sick together. Trim the dough to form a clean rectangle. Brush again with the egg. Starting at the long end roll up to form a cylinder. Wrap dough until cold and firm about 1 to 2 hours. Slice dough with a very sharp knife in a gentle sawing motion 1/4 inch thick. Bake 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. *Filling the cookie dough: Break off some unrefrigerated dough, (I like to use an ice cream spoon) roll in your hand to form a ball. With your finger press into the dough, to make a bowl, fill with jam, lemon curd, chololare peanut butter or whatever you like. After baking and while still warm roll in power sugar or cocoa.
  5. *If you want to use the cookie mix now, and not refrigerate, you can spoon onto a cookie sheet. The will be delicious and crispy.
  6. *Dip the finished cookie half into melted chocolate. Also great dunking in a wonderful cup of coffee.
  7. *Baked filled cookies: Cut one half of the cookie as normal. Cut a second set and cut out the center of each cookie. Place a small amount of filling (chocolate, Nutella or jam or lemon curd) on each cookie leaving a small margin of dough. Brush this area with water or egg white to help the two sides stick together. Sandwich the cookies with . Bake as normal. You can also sandwitch two baked cookies together and fill with frosting, lemon curd, or peanutbutter.
  8. Roll the cookie dough out 1/4 inch thick and put into your tart pan. Fill with pie weights or beans and bake. Fill with your favorite filling,
  9. Lemon Cookie: Replace the vanilla with 1 teaspoon lemon extract and add the lemon zest.
  10. Spice Ginger Cookie: Add to the Basic Dough 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon cinammon, 1/2 teaspoon ground clove, 3/4 cup chopped ginger. Proceed as before. Excellet cookie!

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
Rich and Chrispy Butter Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 108 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.03g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1g
Cholesterol 19mg 6%
Sodium 34mg 1%
Potassium 57mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 16g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0.5g 2%
Sugars 5g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 3%
Calcium 0.5%
Iron 3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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