Cookie Kitchen

Old-fashioned Butter Cookies

December 7, 2016

When I was growing up, our sometime babysitter Shirley loved baking. I can still see her, arms crossed behind her back, sensible shoe tapping, peering through her black-rimmed glasses through the window of our 1970s wall oven.  Shirley shooed us away from the raw dough, convinced we’d die of raw-egg poisoning. But she did let us decorate the cookies–garish overloads of sugar sprinkles, for sure. No matter how many batches of creative cookies I bake, this classic is always included.

Old-fashioned Butter Cookies
Yields 7
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  1. Cookie Ingredients
  2. 3 cups sifted flour
  3. 1 tsp baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1 cup unsalted butter
  6. 3/4 cup sugar
  7. 1 large egg
  8. 2 Tbsp half-and-half
  9. 2 tsp vanilla
  10. Lemon Frosting Ingredients
  11. 2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
  12. 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  13. 2 Tbsp softened unsalted butter or soy butter
  14. 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  1. Make frosting: Blend sugar with lemon zest and butter. Mix in lemon juice.
  2. Make cookies: Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar together. Stir in egg, half-and-half and vanilla. Blend in dry ingredients. Divide dough into two balls. Flatten into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill for an hour or until ready to bake cookies. Preheat oven to 400. Spread two large pieces of plastic wrap on counter, side by side. Place one of the dough disks in the center. Cover with two more pieces of plastic wrap. using a rolling pin, roll out dough to 1/6 of an inch. Remove top plastic sheets. Using cookie cutters, dip in flour and cut out cookies. If using colored sugar, brush cookie tops with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Transfer cookies to parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove to cooling rack. If not sprinkled with colored sugar, allow cookies to cool and then decorate with frosting.
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