How to Make Basic Rolled Butter Cookies: Step-By-Step

December 11, 2019
Follow these steps on how to make basic Rolled Butter Cookies to whip up a batch of rich-flavored tender-yet-sturdy cookies that are just perfect for decorating.  A touch of cream cheese makes the dough easier to roll out and keeps it workable.  When it comes to rolled cut-out cookies for decorating, these are our family's favorite!
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Stack of Flower Shaped Basic Rolled Butter Cookies Image

When it comes to rolling and cutting out cookies to decorate, sugar cookies aren't the only option in town.  Basic rolled shortbread cookies and these rolled butter cookies are also fabulous choices.  And quite frankly, I prefer shortbread or butter cookies over sugar cookies any day.

In fact, when it comes to rolled cut-out cookies for decorating, these butter cookies are our family's absolute favorite. 

Why, you ask?  There are three main reasons:


This butter cookie dough is really easy to work with.  It rolls out nicely and easily, doesn't excessively crack, and keeps its shape when baking.

1.  Flavor --  These basic rolled butter cookies have a rich buttery flavor that's slightly less-sweet than the usual sugar cookie.  It's a flavor we love just simply on its own, or that pairs beautifully with decorative frosting and embellishments.  Since the cookie isn't over-the-top sweet itself, it lets the sweetness of its decoration shine.

2.  Texture -- These cookies have a "smoother" more tender texture, and bake up nice and soft.  And in our house, soft cookies are what we love.

3.  "Workability" of the Dough -- This butter cookie dough is really easy to work with.  It rolls out nicely and easily, doesn't excessively crack, and keeps its shape when baking.

As an added bonus, it's pretty easy to control whether you get soft or crisp cookies, simply by changing up the thickness to which the dough is rolled and/or adjusting the baking time.  While we like our cookies soft, if you want crisp cookies you can certainly make that happen with this recipe.

Christmas Tree Shaped Basic Rolled Butter Cookie Image

A common question I hear is what makes butter cookies different than sugar cookies?

Well, the answer quite simply is the ratio of ingredients.

Both butter cookies and sugar cookies are very similar, in that they're made up of some combination of butter, sugar, and flour.  But it's the proportion of butter to sugar and flour that makes these two cookies distinctly different.

Butter cookies have a higher ratio of butter to flour and sugar, meaning quite simply they've got more butter.  While sugar cookies have a lower ratio of butter to flour and sugar, meaning quite simply they've got more flour and sugar.  This changes up the texture and flavor of the finished cookies a bit to give these two cookies their respective distinctiveness.

With that being said, which one you prefer is just a matter of personal taste.  I myself prefer butter cookies for their slightly less-sweet flavor and "smoother" more tender, softer texture.

Butter cookies have a higher ratio of butter to flour and sugar, meaning quite simply they've got more butter.

So with that difference being answered, follow these steps on how to make basic Rolled Butter Cookies and whip up a tasty batch.  These beauties are just perfect for decorating!

Step 1:  Soften & Prepare Butter

Soften 2 full sticks (1 cup) of unsalted butter by placing it out on the counter about a couple of hours before you plan to make your cookie dough.  You want the butter to soften to the point of just yielding some to the touch.  It shouldn't be firm, and it shouldn't be so soft as to become completely mush when you touch it.

Cut the butter into 16 equal pieces, which means each piece will be 1 tablespoon.

At the same time, also soften 2 tablespoons of cream cheese.  I recommend using full-fat regular cream cheese, not reduced fat cream cheese -- both for texture and flavor in this recipe.

Butter Chunks to Make Basic Rolled Butter Cookies Image

Step 2:  Make Dough

Mixing up butter cookie dough is really pretty easy, and requires just 6 simple ingredients.

Start by simply placing some flour, granulated sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a  large mixing bowl.  Mix these together on low speed about 10 seconds until they're well combined.

A touch of cream cheese makes the dough easier to roll out and keeps it workable.


Then with the mixer running at low speed, add 1 piece of butter at a time dropping them in about 3 seconds apart. Once all the butter is added, continue mixing about 1 to 2 minutes more until the mixture resembles moist crumbs.


Finally, beat in the cream cheese and a little vanilla for about 30 seconds until the dough starts to form large clumps.

Stop mixing as soon as the large clumps form so you don't overmix and overwork the dough.

Basic Rolled Butter Cookies Dough Image

Step 3:  Knead Dough

Scoop or dump the dough clumps out onto a work surface (it doesn't need to be floured).  Then, use your hands to knead the dough until it comes together into a large ball, about 3 or 4 turns.

And truly, just 3 or 4 turns of the dough is all you need.  One key trick when making butter cookies is to not work the dough too much, or you'll end up with tough cookies.  In everything you do when preparing and working with this dough, do it with a light hand.

Basic Rolled Butter Cookies Made with Cream Cheese Image

Step 4:  Chill Dough

Divide the dough into two equal pieces.  Then press each piece into a round slightly flattened disc. 

Wrap each disc in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes until firm but still pliable.

Don't leave the dough in the refrigerator for much more than 30 minutes before rolling it.  If it chills for like an hour or two, its nice "workability" is lost.  If it happens to stay in the refrigerator too long, just let it set out at room temperature for a little bit to soften up before you try to work with it.

Basic Rolled Butter Cookies Dough Discs Image

Step 5:  Roll Out Dough

Working with one dough piece (keep the other one in the refrigerator until you're ready for it), roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface.

Roll the dough 1/4-inch thick for softer, tender cookies (which is the way we love them best!). Roll it 1/8-inch thick for crisper cookies.

Basic Rolled Butter Cookies Dough Disc on Parchment to Roll Out Image

Step 6:  Cut Out Cookies

Use cookie cutters to cut cookies from the rolled dough.  Gently lift and place the cut-out cookies on a baking sheet.

Re-roll any scraps and continue to cut out cookies.  I do advise re-rolling the dough as few times as possible, and only re-rolling once for the absolute best result.  Again, a key trick when making butter cookies is to not work the dough too much, or you'll end up with tough cookies.

A key trick when making butter cookies is to not work the dough too much, or you'll end up with tough cookies.

One thing I'm sure many are wondering is -- How many cookies does this recipe make?

Well, that's actually tough to answer.  

The yield of this recipe varies greatly depending on the thickness of the rolled dough and size of cookie cutters used.  I roll the dough about 1/4-inch thick and use approximately 2-inch cookie cutters -- and get anywhere from 2 to 3 dozen cookies.

Cutting Out Basic Rolled Butter Cookies Image

Step 7:  Bake Cookies

Bake at 375 until just barely light golden brown at the edges, about 8 - 10 minutes.

For soft cookies, bake on the 8 minute side (or even 7 & 1/2 minutes, as we sometimes do!).  For crisp cookies, go more to the 10 minutes.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 2 - 3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.


Christmas Tree Shaped Basic Rolled Butter Cookies on Cooling Rack Image

And then you've got yourself one fabulously delicious batch of basic rolled butter cookies all ready to be decorated!

Whip out the frosting and sprinkles, and decorate to your heart's content.  Or, enjoy these cookies as the base for Lemon-Glazed Butter Cookies and Raspberry Jam Sandwich Cookies -- which are two of our favorite ways to devour them.

Flower Shaped Basic Rolled Butter Cookies on Cooling Rack Image

No matter how you choose to decorate them, these rich-flavored tender-yet-sturdy cookies are just perfect for decorating.

Or hey, enjoy Rolled Butter Cookies just plain if you prefer.  Either way, they're just plain delicious.

Stack of Unfrosted Plain Basic Rolled Butter Cookies Image
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rolled butter cookies, how to make rolled butter cookies, rolled cookies recipe
Cookies & Bars
American
Yield: Varies
Author:

Basic Rolled Butter Cookies

Basic Rolled Butter Cookies

Follow these steps on how to make basic Rolled Butter Cookies to whip up a batch of rich-flavored tender-yet-sturdy cookies that are just perfect for decorating. A touch of cream cheese makes the dough easier to roll out and keeps it workable. When it comes to rolled cut-out cookies for decorating, these are our family's favorite!
prep time: 1 H & 15 Mcook time: 10 Mtotal time: 1 H & 25 M

ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 16 T. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened & cut into 16 pieces
  • 2 T. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

instructions:

How to bake Basic Rolled Butter Cookies

Prepare Cookie Dough:
  1. Place flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl); mix on low speed about 10 seconds until well combined.
  2. With the mixer running at low speed, add 1 piece of butter at a time dropping them in about 3 seconds apart. Once all the butter is added, continue mixing about 1 to 2 minutes more until the mixture resembles moist crumbs.
  3. Beat in cream cheese and vanilla for about 30 seconds until dough starts to form large clumps.
  4. Use your hands to knead dough until it comes together into a large ball, about 3 or 4 turns.
  5. Divide dough into two equal pieces, press each piece into a round slightly flattened disc, wrap each in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes until firm but still pliable.
Cut & Bake Cookies:
  1. Working with one dough piece {keep the other one in the refrigerator}, roll 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thick* between 2 pieces of parchment paper or on a lightly floured work surface. Peel away top sheet of parchment {if using}.
  2. Use a 2-inch fluted round or flower/wreath cookie cutter {or other shape, if desired} to cut cookies from the rolled dough. Place on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake at 375 until just barely light golden brown at the edges, about 8 - 10 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 2 - 3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
TRACEY'S NOTES:
  1. * Roll the dough 1/4-inch thick for softer, tender cookies. Roll it 1/8-inch thick for crisper cookies.
  2. The yield of this recipe varies greatly depending on the thickness of the rolled dough and size of cookie cutters used. I roll the dough about 1/4-inch thick and use approximately 2-inch cookie cutters -- and get anywhere from 2 to 3 dozen cookies.
Created using The Recipes Generator

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How to Make the BEST Basic Rolled Butter Cookies: Step-By-Step ~ These rich flavored tender-yet-sturdy cookies are just perfect for decorating! A little "secret" ingredient makes the dough easy to roll, keeps it workable, and makes the cookies' flavor totally amazing. #buttercookies #rolledcookies #rolledbuttercookies www.thekitchenismyplayground.com


4 comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this delish cookies.
    Happy Christmas season.
    Fabby

    ReplyDelete
  2. I couldn't agree more about butter cookies tasting much better than sugar cookies. These are on the baking list for this weekend! Pinned

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for sharing your butter cookies on Friday Features, but all the cookies look great, I am eyeing the Cinnamon Roll and Turtle cookies, Yum! I am featuring your post this week and hope you will stop by and share again!
    Wishing you a Merry Christmas!!
    Karren

    ReplyDelete
  4. Delicious cookies! Recently, I found one of the best helpers in academic studies. Best writers can help you with essays in any subject.

    ReplyDelete

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