Butter Cookies

 Serves: 16-22 large cookies or 36 small cookies   |     Prep: 15 min     |     Chill: 1 hr     |     Cook: 12 min     |     Ready: 1 hr 27 min


2 cups flour, plus 2 T. for rolling
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup salted Kerrygold butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tsp. high quality vanilla
1/3 cup sanding sugar


Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common mistake. The best, and easiest way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you don’t have one then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.

Sanding sugar gives a nice crunch to the edge but it’s totally optional. You can skip or use regular granulated sugar as a replacement. You can top each cookie with sanding sugar if preferred.

For a crisper cookie leave the baking sheet in the oven, turned off and the door cracked slightly open after baking. This will help dehydrate the cookies further to that butter cookie out of the tin crunch.

This recipe can be used for cut out cookies. Just form the dough into a disk, wrap and chill then roll out to 1/4 inch, cut and bake.

Use a good vanilla for this recipe. It’s one of the stand out flavors here so you don’t want to use the artificial stuff.


In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, salt, and sugar together until light and fluffy.

Add the egg yolks while mixing. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add 2 tsp vanilla extract.

Pour in the flour mixture and mix on low until incorporated.

Roll the dough into a log. If too sticky lightly dust dough with flour to form roll. Wrap in parchment paper or plastic, then chill it in the refrigerator for at least an hour. I’ve found the best way to keep the dough from flattening out on the bottom is to pop it into an empty cardboard paper towel roll.

Once the dough is chilled sprinkle sanding sugar on a clean surface. Unwrap the dough and roll in the sugar.

Use a sharp knife to cut dough into slices of even thickness of approximately 1/2 inch.

Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes or until the edge is JUST turning golden brown.

For a crisper cookie leave the baking sheet in the oven, turned off and the door cracked slightly open after baking.

Alternate Directions for small cookies:
Cream the butter and sugar.Cut 2 sticks cold unsalted butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Place the butter and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (Alternatively, use a large bowl and electric hand mixer.) Beat on low speed to break up the butter, then increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and lightened in color, about 3 minutes.

Add the egg and vanilla. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add 1 large egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and beat on medium speed until combined.

Beat in the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add 2 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and beat until just incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure the dough is evenly mixed.

Roll and chill the dough. Remove the dough from the bowl and shape into a smooth rectangle. Lightly dust the rectangle with flour. Place between 2 sheets of parchment paper, then roll into a rough 9×12-inch rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Place the dough, still in the parchment, on a baking sheet. Freeze until firm, 20 to 30 minutes, or refrigerate 1 to 2 hours. Meanwhile, heat the oven and prepare the egg wash.

Make the egg wash and heat the oven to 350ºF. Whisk the remaining 1 large egg with 1 teaspoon water together in a small bowl. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 350°F.

Cut the cookies. Remove the top sheet of parchment from the dough. Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut the dough into 36 (1.5×2-inch) rectangles. Arrange the cookies 1-inch apart on 2 ungreased, unlined aluminum baking sheets (not nonstick), about 18 cookies per sheet.

Finish the cookies with egg wash and sugar. Brush the top of the cookies with the egg wash and sprinkle with 1/4 cup sanding or coarse sugar.

Bake the cookies 10 to 14 minutes. Bake the cookies until firm and lightly golden-brown, rotating the baking sheets between racks and from front to back halfway through, 10 to 14 minutes total.

Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.