These little bites of tender yet crispy butter cookies make a perfect summer dessert. They are slightly sweet and buttery with wonderfully crisp edges. They can be used in a cookie press or as drop cookies. As this is a butter cookie, most of the flavour is coming from the butter so try to use a good quality butter. These crispy butter cookies are so good, it's just impossible to stop after eating one!
2 cups butter (454g), room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar (270g)
2 eggs (A grade), room temperature
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (590g)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
Step 1: Place the Sifted All-purpose Flour Into a Medium Bowl. Then Add in the Salt.
Sifting flour is a way of aerating the flour so that it's easier to mix in with other ingredients. It can also rid of large lumps or impurities in it.
Salt brings out all the flavours and balances the sweetness in the cookies.
Use the full amount of salt called for in the recipe if using unsalted butter. If salted butter is used, then use 1/2 the amount called for in the recipe.
Step 2: Using a Whisk, Stir It Well and Set Aside.
Thoroughly mix to fluff up, to aerate and to combine the salt into the flour.
Step 3: Next Put the Softened Butter Into the Bowl of a Stand Mixer.
Butter adds a sweet, delicate and rich flavour to these cookies. Unsalted butter is the preferred choice and try to use a good quality butter as it will produce the best flavour for the cookies.
The butter used MUST be softened to room temperature. Otherwise the baked cookies will not be ideal. A softened butter should be pliable enough to blend but hard enough to hold its shape. When touched, your finger will leave a small indentation. Simply set the butter on the countertop for 30 to 40 minutes to soften before baking.
Step 4: Add in the White Sugar. Then Cream the Butter and Sugar on Medium Speed Until It's Light and Fluffy.
Creaming softened butter with sugar forms air pockets. These air pockets are filled with steam during baking, creating a tender crust and light texture for the baked cookies.
When you first start beating sugar and butter together, the mixture is thick and lumpy. As you continue to beat, the mixture becomes creamier in texture and lighter in colour as air is beaten in. Also when creaming the butter and sugar, do not beat on high speed, otherwise the butter will heat up.
Step 5: Beat in the Eggs, One at a Time.
Always use large size, room temperature eggs.
With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs one at a time and mix for about 20 seconds before the next addition. When all the eggs have been added, increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the egg mixture for about 2 minutes. It will form ridges on the side of the mixing bowl after the beaters pull through the mixture and sticks to the side of the bowl. The batter will become lighter in colour as it retains the air bubbles. By then the batter will become fluffy and aerated.
Step 6: Then Add the Vanilla Extract.
Once the eggs have been fully incorporated and we have a smooth batter, flavouring like vanilla extract is added. Try to use pure vanilla extract for better flavour. You can substitute with lemon or almond extracts if desire.
Step 7: Gradually Add in the Flour.
The flour is gently added into the egg batter in a way that preserves as much of the air bubbles as possible. This will result in a light texture in the baked cookies. Be sure to sift and aerate the flour mixture first.
Step 8: Using Low Speed, Lightly Mix the Flour Into the Sugar Mixture. and We're Done!
When you mix the flour into the batter, stir JUST until blended. Be careful not to over mix or beat the cookie dough. Otherwise the cookies will be tough. You can also do this by hand.
One helpful tip is to first thoroughly mix to fluff up the dry flour mixture with a wire whisk so it blends easily with the wet dough to prevent over mixing with the wet dough.
Step 9: Cover Dough With Plastic Wrap and Chill in Refrigerator for at Least 1 Hour Along With Cookie Sheets.
Chilling the dough in the refrigerator helps to prevent the cookies from spreading too much and become flattered. It also helps to give the cookies a nice rounded centre and gives time for the liquid in the cookies to hydrate the flour. Refrigerate the dough, covered for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days before baking. It can be wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap or heavy duty foil to prevent freezer burn and freeze for up to 1 month. If the dough is frozen, thaw the dough in the refrigerator just until it first softened before use.
Chilling the cookie sheets helps keep the cookie dough from spreading too fast when pressed on it.
Step 10: Right Before Baking, Preheat Oven to 180 Degree C (350 Degree F). Place Oven Rack in the Centre of the Oven.
Preheating the oven is especially important for baking. By preheating the oven,we allow it time to reach the correct temperature in order to bake the cookies perfectly. A preheated oven will cook the cookies all the way to its centre before the outside of the cookies gets burnt.
In general, the middle of the oven is best for even baking. So placing rack in the centre of oven during baking allows for even baking and overall same baking time.
Step 11: Fill Your Cookie Press With Chilled Dough.
A cookie press helps to produce beautifully shaped and equal size cookies so they bake evenly. This is a convenient, quick and fun way to turn out an array of cookies with different designs. These pressed cookies will adhere to the cookie sheet better if the cookie sheet is not greased.
When filling the cookie press, form a portion of the dough into a log slightly smaller than the cookie press cylinder and fit into the cookie press. To avoid air pockets, place the cookie dough into the cylinder from the bottom end where the plate is and then smooth the edge with a spatula.
Work with half of the cookie dough at a time. Keep the other half refrigerated for easier handling.
Step 12: Then Press the Cookies Onto Ungreased Chilled Cookie Sheets About 2 Inches Apart.
To press the cookies, hold the cookie press upright and apply even pressure on the handle to press out the shaped cookies. Force the dough through the press until the dough can be seen at the rim of the press. Then lift the press straight up once the shape is formed. The cookie dough should be at room temperature. However, if the cookie does not hold its pattern, refrigerate the dough in the cookie press for about 15 minutes before pressing. If the dough sticks to the cylinder while pressing the cookies, thin the dough with a small amount of milk as the dough may be too stiff.
Space all cookies evenly and leave enough space between each cookie to allow for spreading while baking.
When baking these cookies, choose heavy, light-coloured cookie sheets. Dark coloured cookie sheets may absorb heat, causing cookies to brown too much at the bottom. As these cookies are high in butter, do not grease the cookie sheets. Otherwise the cookies can flatten or spread too much.
The cookie sheets should be 2 inches narrower and shorter than the oven to allow for even baking. Do not use cookie sheets with high sides which can deflect heat and also make it difficult to remove the baked cookies. Choose those with low or no sides which are designed for easily sliding cookies onto a cooling rack.
Step 13: Decorate the Cookies by Placing Decorative Chocolate Chips in the Centre.
For other easy decorated cookie, try topping with sparkling sugar for a quick colour makeover before baking.
Step 14: Bake the Cookies in the Preheated Oven Until They Are Slightly Golden on the Edges, About 8 to 10 Minutes.
If baking with only one cookie sheet, position the wire rack in centre of oven and change from back to front halfway through the baking cycle for even baking.
If baking with two cookie sheets, use the upper and lower thirds of the oven, reversing the cookie sheets from upper to lower and front to back about half way through the baking cycle to ensure even baking.
Adjust baking time to achieve the cookie texture desired. A little less time produces chewier cookies, a little more time makes them crispy. If you prefer softer cookies, remove them from the oven while they are still slightly under baked.
Always check for doneness at the minimum baking time.
Cool the cookie sheet before using to cook another batch. This is because a warm cookie sheet causes the dough to melt which can then cause overspreading and different baking time.
Every cookie sheet bakes differently, depending on the material, thickness and surface reflection. Generally, the cookies are done when the edges begin to brown and they have turn golden.To check for doneness, press down lightly in the middle to see if it bounces back.
Step 15: Remove the Cookie Sheet to Cool on Wire Rack Once Cookies Are Baked, About 3 Minutes.
When cookies are done, leave the cookies on the baking sheet for about 3 to 5 minutes after you take out from the oven. This gives the cookies a chance to firm up a bit. However do not leave cookies on baking/cookie sheet for too long to prevent the cookies to continue cooking on the baking sheets.
Step 16: Then Transfer the Cookies Onto Wire Rack to Cool Completely.
Transfer cookies using a metal spatula onto wire rack to cool completely. A cooling rack speeds up the cooling process by allowing air to pass beneath the cookies. It also keeps the cookies crisp by allowing steam to evaporate from beneath the hot cookies, instead of trapping it and making the cookies to soften.
Cool the cookies in single layer. If the cookies bends or breaks when transferring from cookie sheets to wire rack, let them cool for another minute before trying to do so.
Cool cookies thoroughly before storing them. Otherwise, they will turn soft again.
Step 17: They Can Be Stored in Airtight Containers at Room Temperature for Several Weeks. a Perfect Addition for Any Festive Snacks!
To store cookies:
First allow the cookies to cool completely.
Store the cookies at room temperature in air-tight containers such as tins, cookie jars with air-tight lids or plastic containers to retain their crispness. Use clear containers as the clarity lets you see what's inside them. Layer the cookies, separating the layers with a piece of parchment paper.
Do not store cookies in airtight plastic bags at room temperature except for a short interval as these can cause moisture to build in the plastic and cause spoilage.
Make sure you have all the ingredients ready before begin baking.
If ingredients have been refrigerated, e.g. milk, eggs and butter, let stand at room temperature for about 20 to 30 minutes before using.
Baked using just one cookie sheet at a time and placed in the centre of oven for even browning. Cookies easily over baked. So check for doneness at the minimum time length stated (in this recipe is 8 minutes), then baked a little longer if needed.
If the cookies are spreading too much, refrigerate the dough to chill the butter. This will help to reduce spreading while the cookies are baked.
If baking frozen cookie dough, use a lower temperature to allow the dough time to thaw and spread as they bake.