Butter Cookies

These Butter Cookies have such a light texture that they almost melt in your mouth!

Butter Cookies
Elise Bauer

Years ago we attempted a New York Times recipe for a lemon confit shortbread tart. Like fellow food-blogger Deb, we had a miserable experience with the recipe. It was just too tart to eat.

However, I had some extra dough from making the pie crust and decided to roll it out, cut some cookies, and see how they were. I rolled the cookies out pretty thin, much thinner than what is typical of shortbread or butter cookies, and pulled them out of the oven just as their edges started to brown.

Valentine cookies
Elise Bauer

They were so light, they practically melted on the tongue!

My parents insisted that I make another batch the next day. I made several dozen. All of the cookies were devoured within 36 hours and I was not permitted to give any of them away to friends.

If you are looking for something wonderful to make for a loved one in your life, these cookies may just be the thing.

lemony butter cookies
Elise Bauer

Butter Cookies

Total Time 0 mins
Servings 60 servings


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice


  1. Make the butter cookie dough:

    Whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

    Add the butter and work it in with your fingers until it forms flaky crumbs and lumps.

    Mix in the egg, almond extract, and lemon juice. Continue to mix until it clumps; at first it may seem very dry.

    Shape into two balls, flatten into disks, wrap in plastic, refrigerate at least an hour, preferably overnight.

    butter cookie dough
    Elise Bauer
    roll out butter cookie dough
    Elise Bauer
  2. Roll out the dough:

    Let the dough sit at temperature for at least 10-15 minutes before attempting to work with it. The dough may be crumbly; if it falls apart, press it back together. Allow the dough to relax enough to become somewhat pliable before rolling out.

    Roll out a disk, one at a time, between two sheets of parchment paper, to a 1/8 to 1/4-inch thickness, depending on how thick or thin you would like your cookies to be.

  3. Cut out cookie shapes with cookie cutter:

    Dip the edges of one side of your cookie cutter into flour and cut out your cookie shapes. If the rolled-out dough becomes too soft to work with, place it in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up.

    Place on parchment paper or Silpat on a cookie sheet, with at least 1/2-inch distance between the cookie shapes.

    cut out butter cookie dough into cookie shapes
    Elise Bauer
    arrange butter cookie cutouts on baking pan
    Elise Bauer
  4. Bake:

    Bake at 350°F for 8-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the cookies, until the edges are just slightly golden brown. Remove from oven. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes.

    Baked Butter Cookies
    Elise Bauer