These European-style Butter Cookies are absolutely irresistible! Made with real European-style butter and simple pantry ingredients, they really let the butter shine through and taste INCREDIBLE. A must have in your recipe box!
I am in the full swing of holiday baking and I know you guys are gearing up – and some of you guys have already begun! You’re my kinda people.
As usual, Christmas cookies reign supreme this time of year and I have to always have a good selection. Whenever I’m making my annual Christmas treat baskets for neighbors and friends, I try to have a good variety in there of cookies, candies, and maybe a snack mix… but especially the cookies. Who doesn’t look forward to Christmas cookies this time of year?
These very well be my new favorite and have moved toward the top of the list!
If you remember those blue tins of Danish cookies that usually crop up in stores at Christmastime, these are reminiscent of those but better! What’s so addicting about those Danish cookies is the pure butter flavor. Most American packaged cookies are usually made with oil or margarine and have that kind of fake taste which is why I tend to avoid packaged cookies. But I always remember enjoying the Danish ones because they were SO buttery in flavor and texture. They practically melt in your mouth!
These have the same melt-in-your-mouth texture and supreme buttery flavor thanks to European butter. European butter has a higher butterfat content (around 85%) which makes it ultra creamy and rich. Nowadays, you can find European-style butter at most grocery stores pretty easily. For this recipe, I used Clover European-style butter, which is local to me. You’ll need 1 cup, or 2 sticks (aka 16 Tablespoons).
Piping the Dough
For their signature swirl, you can pipe the cookie dough using a disposable or refillable piping bag and a large open star or closed star tip. Smaller tips do not work here, so I recommend a large one like Atecco 849 (the one I used), Wilton 8B, or Atecco 826 or 827. Those are all large enough with big enough openings to adequately pipe out the cookie dough.
The cookie dough needs to have a kind of Goldilocks effect for the perfect swirl, and to prevent over-spreading in the oven. Too stiff and it won’t pipe. Too soft and it will spread like crazy. For this reason, I like to start with a minimal amount of milk added to the cookie dough to get a good consistency. It’s pipeable, but will still hold its shape.
Also, to prevent spreading, we’re going to refrigerate the piped cookie dough swirls on a baking sheet for at least 30-40 minutes before baking. Keep in mind that because of the large butter content, some spreading will inevitably happen and the swirling will distort slightly in the oven. But briefly chilling the dough will abate a lot of the spreading issues.
Can I freeze the cookies?
Yes, the cookies can be frozen for a few months in a proper airtight container.
I don’t have a piping tip. Can I make the cookies still?
Of course! You can roll out the dough and cut it into rounds using a biscuit cutter and refrigerate the cut circles before baking, or roll the dough into logs between sheets of plastic wrap, refrigerate the logs to chill, and slice and bake the cookies.
Buttery, tender, melt-in-your-mouth Butter Cookies. These are fantastic!
- 1 cup (2 sticks) European-style butter, softened can use regular unsalted butter, but try to splurge for the European-style - it's amazing!
- 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt (omit if your European butter is salted)
- 2-4 tsp milk
- Chocolate melting wafers, for dipping if desired
- Sprinkles for garnish, if desired
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and creamy, about 2 minutes on medium-high speed. Add in the egg yolks and vanilla extract and mix well, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed. Lastly, add in the salt and flour and mix together until dough is slightly crumbly. Add in 2 tsp of the milk until dough comes together and is spreadable and pipeable. The key is to add as little milk as possible to prevent spreading.
- Fit a piping bag with a large open star or closed star tip. I used Atecco 849, but Wilton 8B or Atecco 826/827 can be used. Do not attempt with a smaller tip as it will be impossible to pipe. I recommend adding a little bit of dough to the piping bag first to test a cookie to pipe to make sure it's the proper consistency. If all is good, pipe into a swirl circular shape onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Refrigerate the baking sheet with piped cookies for at least 30-40 minutes or until chilled. Preheat oven to 350° degrees F. Line another pan with parchment paper.
- Place 3 rows of 4 cookies each onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake one sheet at a time in the center rack of the oven for 12-16 minutes or until light golden brown around on the bottoms.. Cool completely on the baking sheets as the cookies are quite fragile. Bake remaining cookies off on another prepared sheet.
- If decorating with chocolate and sprinkles, melt the chocolate wafers according to package directions or until smooth. Dip half of the cookie into the melted chocolate, allowing excess chocolate to drip off. Return to the baking sheet and immediately garnish with sprinkles. Allow the chocolate to set before serving or storing.
I cannot get over how gorgeous and more importantly, how FLAVORFUL these amazing cookies are!
Have a super sweet day!
YES! These are from Erin Mylroie’s cookbook, 101 Greatest Cookies on the Planet.
Sarah DeVet says
How big of circle did you pipe?
Sarah DeVet says
How big of circles do you pipe?
Hi Sarah, they’re about 2.5″ circles. I hope this helps!