If you love gifting cookies for the Holiday like I do, then you are going to love this recipe. Today we are making a lot of cookies, not just dozen cookies but 100 cookies or more. Cookies for gifting, cookies for a cookie platter or cookie exchange, cookies for eating and sharing. A lot of cookies, cookies for all occasions.
Edible gifts are something that I love to give. I feel that I am sharing a special part of me in every box of treats that I give a way. I make my edible gifts from scratch and I enjoy every minute of it. The process, the gift wrapping and the tasting 🙂 as much as I love gifting edible gifts; I also enjoy receiving one. Holiday season is a season where I openly enjoy the gifts of sweets.
When making edible gifts, I like to make variations. I use recipes that are simple, flexible and easy to make. Anything that can make the process faster, I am all for it. This is where this Butter Cookie dough comes in. 1 easy and simple cookie dough that can be turned in 5 different variations. Great for make ahead, and definitely great for gift giving and cookie platter. I made 5 different variations but if you are press on time, you can make the entire batch into rosette Butter Cookies. This variation doesn’t require adding additional ingredients. You can use the dough immediately, pipe the rosettes and bake. You can also freeze the rosettes and bake the day you want ti package it.
Today we are going to make some serious baking, this is the day that we are making more than 6 pieces of cookies in a batch. I am talking about around 100+ cookies people! That much cookies! This is definitely not something that I do often, probably once a year the most if I am gifting cookies away. You can use this cookie dough for any occasion. Use different cookie cutter that fits the occasion, or make a plain one for everyday enjoyment.
About This Recipe
- Ease in Making the Recipe: This cookie dough recipe is very easy to make with the proper equipment, a stand mixer is what I recommend for easier mixing or hand mixer if that is what you have. This is a huge batch of cookie dough, please do not make this manually without any mixer, that will be a tough road to travel. I used hand mixer in the video so that you can easily see the mixing process. My stand mixer bowl is not glass and hence the mixing will not be visible. If you have a stand-mixer, this is a perfect time to use it.
- Ingredients: I would say the base cookie dough is very basic butter cookie ingredients. You will need butter, LOTS of butter, flour, sugar, egg white, salt and pure vanilla extract, a total of 6 ingredients. If you are only making piped butter cookie, then this are all you need. You can use the dough while still soft to pipe a beautiful rosette. If you are making any of the other variations, you will need to add more ingredients. They are still simple ingredients, like cocoa powder for chocolate variation cookie, almond flour for Linzer cookie, cardamom powder for cardamom cookie. You can also make matcha just by adding match powder to the dough portion. You will have a blast making variations from this cookie dough.
- Texture, Taste & Flavor: Very creamy and buttery, after all what more can we expect after using this much butter in our cookies? The taste will vary depending on the variation you are making. My personal favorites are the chocolate dipped rosette butter cookie and the cardamom cookie.
- Make-Ahead: The dough can be made up to 10 days in advance and keep refrigerated. Store baked cookies in air tight container for up to 7 days. You can also freeze the dough for cut out cookies up to 3 months. I would not recommend freezing the dough for butter cookies. Because you need to pipe it, it will be easier to use it while soft, otherwise it will not push out of the piping tip if the dough is too hard. Even if you thaw the dough, it will not be easy to pipe. So if you are making the entire batch for rosette butter cookie, use it immediately. Try to pipe few pieces to check the consistency, if a bit challenging to pipe, leave it covered on the counter for 30 minutes to 1 hr. This will soften the dough to make it pipepable.
This is a huge batch of cookie dough so please read through the tips I provided below to avoid a cookie disaster. This is a lot of ingredients that will go to waste if you end up with a disaster cookie dough. The key thing here is to use room temperature butter. Softened but not oily. What I do is I cut the butter into small cubes, transfer it in the mixing bowl and leave it inside the microwave until it is softened. I leave it overnight because I often make this early morning so I have enough time to bake all the cookies.
What are the Ingredients for Butter Cookie Dough
- Butter – Use good quality butter. This recipe do not have a lot of ingredients and the key ingredient that has a major impact in the taste of the cookie is the butter. A good quality butter is a good start. Another key thing is to use softened butter, soft but not oily. When you push your fingers in the butter, it should create a dent without extra effort. Take the butter out of the refrigerator at least 1 hr before using it. Cut it into small pieces so it soften faster. Do NOT use butter that is straight from the refrigerator, that will be a guaranteed disaster as cold hard butter will not cream as easily as softened butter.
- Powdered Sugar – Powdered sugar or icing sugar have a very fine smooth texture. This fine texture produces a smooth cookie with a nice “snap”. Because if it’s fine texture, it dissolves easily when creamed with the butter and egg.
- Egg Whites – Egg whites will help loosen up the consistency of the cookie dough. Just like the butter, use a room temperature egg whites. Take the egg out of the fridge the same tine you take the butter out.
- All Purpose Flour – this is the main dry ingredients that will give the cookie the structure.
- Vanilla Extract – for flavoring. Butter cookies are great flavored with vanilla extract. Use only pure vanilla extract for better flavor, remember, it is all about quality especially for recipe that uses very few ingredients.
- Salt – salt is definitely needed in this recipe to balance the sweetness and also for taste. The salt may seem a lot but remember that the amount of flour used in this recipe is quite a lot. Basically 1/4 teaspoon of table salt for 1 cup of flour. You can use a minimum of 1 teaspoon if you want to cut in the salt, but even with nuts 1 teaspoon, you cannot hardly taste it with the large amount of flour, butter and sugar in this recipe.
How to Make Butter Cookie Dough
The Cookie Dough
The cookie dough is very easy to make. I highly recommend using a stand mixer if you have one. In the video, I used a hand mixer so that you can see better the mixing, but I tell you this, the hand mixer was having a hard time mixing this much amount of dough. It did survive though, but it was a bit challenging. So use a stand mixer if you have one. All you need to do is mix the ingredients in the mixing bowl. Start by creaming the butter and sugar until soft. Add the egg white to lighten the consistency, then add the icing/confectioners sugar. I added it gradually because I was using a hand mixer. If you are using a stand mixer, you can put the sugar in one dump. Use pure vanilla extract for better flavoring. You only have few ingredients, every ingredients matter. The all-purpose flour is the last one that you will add. Add the flour gradually even if you are using a stand mixer. This helps in better mixing as this is a huge amount of flour we are adding. The consistency will be soft for a cut out cookie, but perfect for a rosette Butter Cookie. Do not worry, once you add the rest of the ingredients for the variations, the dough will be stable for cut out cookies. Portion the dough into 5, use a kitchen weighing scale if you have one. The additional ingredients are measured for 5 portions of dough. If you are making smaller or bigger portion, you will have to adjust the additional ingredients. for cut out cookie, aim for a stable though that is not too wet or dry.
Here comes the fun part! Making variations. I left 6 cookie variations below, choose which one you want to make. For butter cookie, you can use the dough as is. If you do not have much time to make variations, I highly recommend use the dough to make rosette Butter Cookies, have some plain, and have some dipped in melted chocolate. You can dip it in white chocolate, semi-sweet or dark chocolate. You can also add sprinkles or chopped nuts. Lets see what variations we have here (L-R):
- Almond Linzer Cookie – I like the grainy Almond texture of this cookie. I filled the cookie with melted chocolate but you can go traditional and fill it with jam
- Vanilla Butter Cookie – This is my favorite. The fastest and easiest to make. No additional ingredients needed, you can use the dough as is. I dipped it in melted chocolate.
- Chocolate Sugar Cookie – I am not into ginger bread cookie but I like the shape of it. So I used the ginger bread cookie cutter and made the chocolate sugar cookie instead. I drizzle melted white chocolate on top.
- Cardamom Butter Cookie – This is my second favorite. Creamy, buttery and the subtle cardamom flavor gave it a unique taste. I dipped and drizzle it with melted white chocolate.
- Chocolate Sandwich Cookie – This uses the same dough as the chocolate sugar cookie. I had it filled with melted white and dark chocolate.
Tips in Making Basic Butter Cookie Dough
This recipe produces a huge amount of cookie dough. You can tell by just looking at the amount of the ingredients. Although the ingredients and process are simple, there few key things to remember when making this cookie dough.
- Use a kitchen weighing scale: For baking large quantity, it is also safer to weigh the ingredients.
- Use room temperature butter. This is VERY important, so make sure to follow this instructions. This is a large batch cookie dough, the last thing you want is to end up with a failed cookie dough that is not usable. Softened butter is a MUST when the recipe calls for creaming the butter with sugar or egg, this is because room temperature butter mix easily as it is loose.
- Use room temperature egg white for the same reason that it mix easily. A cold egg white is heavy and will make the butter dense and heavy too
- Plan ahead. Although this is a VERY easy base cookie recipe, this cookie dough yields about 125 pieces of cookies, that’s a LOT of cookies to bake and decorate especially if you want to make different variations. If you are press with time, the best approach is to just pick 2 to make and focus on those 2. I would suggest 1 vanilla flavor and 1 chocolate. I made 4 different variations and among the 4 that I made, I find making the Vanilla Butter Cookie the fastest and easiest to make. You can use the dough immediately without adding any other ingredients to make it stable. It also doesn’t require chilling before using it as it is not a cut-out cookie.
- If making the Vanilla Butter Cookie variation, make this as soon as you are done with making the dough. The softer the dough the easier it will be to pipe it. Do NOT chill the dough, you will not be able to use it for piping if you chill it. Even if you thaw the dough, you will not be able to pipe it.
- The chocolate variation had a strong dark chocolate taste. I find that adding melted semi-sweet or white chocolate when decorating it balances the strong chocolate taste, or you can add more icing sugar in the cookie batter portion.
Base Cookie Dough Ingredients:
- 750 grams/ (6 2/3 sticks) soft room temp Butter
- 300 grams/(2 1/2 cups) Powdered Sugar
- 3 X Large Egg Whites – room temp
- 900 grams/ (6 1/2 cups) All purpose Flour
- 3 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
Cookie Variations Options:
- Vanilla Butter Cookies: Use the cookie dough as is, and pipe as soon as the cookie batter is done. The firmer the cookie dough gets, the harder it is to pipe it
- Almond Linzer Cookies:
- 60 grams Almond Flour (1/2 cup)
- 40 grams All Purpose Flour ( 4 tbsp)
- 1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
- 3/4 cup Jam of your choice or melted chocolate
- Ginger Bread Cookie
- 2 3/4 teaspoon Ginger
- 3 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 2 or 3 teaspoon Cocoa Powder
- 40 grams/ 4 tablespoon Flour
- Sugar Cookies
- 50 grams/ 5 tablespoon All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
- Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- 60 grams/(7 1/2 tablespoon) Sweetened Cocoa Powder ( Bloom the cocoa with 5 tbsp hot Milk) If you’re using unsweetened cocoa powder you may have to add 1 tbsp more icing sugar.
- 20 grams/2 tablespoon All Purpose Flour
- Melted good quality chocolate to fill the cookies
- Cardamom Cookies
- 1 teaspoon Cardamom Powder
- 60 grams/6 tablespoon All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup melted White Chocolate
- Pre-heat oven to 340F.
- Cream the butter for about 1 minute until soft and silky.
- Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract and continue mixing.
- Add the egg whites and continue mixing.
- Mix flour and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients mixture to the butter mixture. Do NOT add all the flour in one dump. The dough will be quite soft, that is how it should be because we are adding more ingredients as we make the variations.
- Divide the dough in 5 portions. Select the 5 variations that you would like to make from the suggested options above. Add the additional ingredients and mix until it forms into a dough.
- For the chocolate variation: Mix the hot milk to the cocoa powder until it turns into a thick paste. If needed, add more hot milk or water until the consistency is thick. The amount of liquid will depend on the moisture of the cocoa powder you are using
- Lay a parchment paper on the working surface. Place 1 portion of the dough, cover with parchment paper on top and using a rolling pin, roll into 1/4-inch thick. Refrigerate to set while you make the other cookie variations. You do not have to do this for Butter Cookie variation, you can use the cookie batter as is. Only the cut-out cookie will require this step.
- Once all done, take one cookie dough and cut or pipe to desired shape and size.
- Bake at 340F. Make sure to have the same size for each batch of baking. This helps even baking for all the cookie.
- Vanilla Butter Cookies: 1 3/4-inch rosette; Makes 24 pieces, Bake for 18 minutes
- Almond Linzer Cookie: 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter; 1/8-inch thick: Makes 25 pieces; Bake for 15 minutes
- Chocolate Sandwich Cookie: 1-inch square cookie cutter; 1/8-inch thick: Makes 25 pieces; Bake for 15 minutes
- Ginger Bread Shape Chocolate Cookie: 1/4-inch thick; Makes 24 pieces ; Bake for 15 minutes
- Cardamom Cookie: 1/4-inch, star; Makes 20 pieces ; Bake for 17 minutes
- For Butter Cookie, Use the dough immediately or rest for 30 minutes – 1 hr to soften it. Do NOT chill the cookie dough
- Room temperature butter and egg is crucial in the process
- For cut-out cookies, chill the dough before and after cutting
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