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Basic Butter Cookie Dough

One basic dough can make very different but equally delectable cookies. Spritz Butter Cookies Cut-Out Butter Cookies Icebox Butter Cookies

Basic Butter Cookie Dough

Source: Everyday Food, December 2005


  • 3 cups (spooned and leveled) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Egg wash, (optional): 1 large egg white, beaten with 2 teaspoons water
  • Decorating sugar and sprinkles, (optional)


  1. Place flour, sugar, butter, and salt in the bowl of a food processor; process until mixture is the texture of coarse meal.

  2. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolks and vanilla; with motor running, add to food processor. Process just until a dough forms.

Reviews (19)

  • Raven2255 21 Dec, 2012

    I have made this recipe now every Xmas for about 4 years - LOVE IT!!!

  • ivonnesmith 19 Dec, 2012

    LOve it

  • barbs728 17 Dec, 2012

    i will be trying this recipe this year

  • renee-idaho 23 Dec, 2011

    I like it & I make it with my wolfgank Puck electric cookie maker that I got from Premiere appliance on line, in case you are still using the old hand press one. They are easy.

  • dpsyk 18 Sep, 2011

    This recipe is the easiest thing I have EVER made. It tastes so good too. Forget the icing. This thing is great by itself.

  • Igby 18 Feb, 2011

    So, so, so good. I made the ice box version because it's so quick. Used colored sugar to make them pretty. I really need to find an easy to use cookie press because I'd love to make the spritz version. I love to bake cookies and these are just rocking butter cookies. You cannot go wrong with this cookie batter recipe.

  • dailypainter 18 Jan, 2011

    Wonderful recipe and a snap to make...I made these on three separate occasions and each time they came out perfect in 9 delicious!

  • angelaUPartist 26 Dec, 2010

    Terrible recipe, Joy of cooking has a much easier to use recipe that works every time. Every sorry I tried this one, ended up having to make cookie balls instead of using my press. :( So sad.

  • misshp88 21 Dec, 2010

    Great cookies! Could eat a dozen plain, but with frosting they are good too! I made mine very thick and did the normal time, they came out perfect! Did not even use a food pro. did it all by hand!! I will forever be a fan of these scrumptious cookies :D

  • derosa 15 Jun, 2010

    Very easy. I used my Kitchen Aide. Worked great!
    Don't forget the parchment paper. Slide off easily!
    They don't spread of "pucker" like other sugar cookies.
    Cook smaller sized for about 8 minutes!!!!

  • bidisha1 22 Dec, 2009

    I have a small food processor and make half a batch of dough at a time and then put it all together on the counter.

  • cookingnicky 7 Dec, 2009

    What do I do if I don't have a big enough food processor

  • sunshinegal 2 Dec, 2009

    How many cookies will this make?

  • teach123 25 Jan, 2009

    These are yummy, but I had the same problem with this recipe that I do with most of Martha's cookie recipes: When I'm finished mixing the dough, it's all crumbly and quite hard to roll out until it's warmed up a bit. Does anyone have suggestions?

  • Ilovethesoaps 12 May, 2008

    I like this recipe because you can do many things with one recipe. My daughter loves this recipe too!

  • latnerotis 30 Apr, 2008

    How long will dough keep in freezer?

  • CandiceInIowa 23 Dec, 2007

    The directions are complete because this is a receipe for the cookie dough. The dough is used in many cookie receipes on this site that will also have the baking time and temp. Check out Spritz cookies, it uses this dough and has further explaination.

  • cindyone 22 Dec, 2007

    the temp for baking is 350

  • bus26 19 Dec, 2007

    The directions were not complete; oven temperature, how long to bake etc.

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