Butter cookies are… well, buttery. These easy icebox cookies are perfect to make ahead. Simply prep the dough and pop it in the fridge.
When the time (or craving) comes, slice and bake up a batch of these deliciously dippable cookies! They’re tender inside and a little bit crisp on the edges, the stuff holiday dreams are made of!
The Best Butter Cookies
We love make-ahead recipes and these cookies definitely fit the bill!
Keep the dough in the refrigerator or the freezer for any time a cookie craving comes on. Just slice and bake!
Icebox cookies are perfect for mailing, too! Layer cooled cookies between sheets of parchment paper, place them in a zippered bag, and then in a tin or gift box.
Serve with some Homemade Hot Chocolate for dipping.
Icebox Cookie Ingredients
BUTTER It’s hard to find substitutions here… refrigerator cookies just aren’t the same unless they are made with real butter, preferably unsalted. But if dairy really is off the menu, it’s possible to use shortening, coconut oil, or vegan margarine. Truly in this case, butter is best.
EGG yolks give these cookies a melt-in-your-mouth texture and an unforgettably rich flavor. To separate the egg yolks, just crack an egg and transfer it back and forth between the two halves of the eggshell, allowing the white to fall into a bowl underneath. (Add the white to an omelet or even egg muffins).
- Decorate with chocolate drizzle and crushed peanut for a gooey chocolate peanut version.
- Add a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder for a chocolate version or a scoop of creamy peanut butter for a peanut butter version.
- We also like to add mini chocolate chips, oatmeal, or even a whole almond pressed into the top of each cookie.
How to Make Butter Cookies (overview)
A stand mixer will make combining the ingredients easier since the dough will be firm.
- Cream butter and sugar (per the recipe below). Add egg yolks & vanilla.
- Mix in dry ingredients.
- Roll dough into logs and chill for an hour or up to 48 hours.
- Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and slice into ½” thick rounds. Bake until the edges are just turning brown.
PRO TIP: Start with room temperature butter and eggs for best results!
Don’t skip chilling the dough. This hardens the butter so the cookies retain their shape during baking.
- Cookie dough will keep in the fridge for about 5 days, wrapped in parchment paper and plastic wrap.
- Freeze butter cookie dough for up to two months tightly wrapped and labeled with the date on it. Let the dough thaw in the refrigerator.
- Slice, bake, and serve!
Festive Holiday Treats
- Ritz Cracker Thin Mints – only 4 ingredients
- Grandma’s Meringue Cookies – light & airy
- Easy Snickerdoodle Recipe – with cinnamon sugar coating
- Perfect Gingerbread Cookies – 7 minute cook time
- Easy Chocolate Truffles – rich & decadent
- Fantasy Fudge – a no bake treat
Did you make these Slice & Bake Butter Cookies? Be sure to leave a comment & a rating below!
Slice & Bake Butter Cookies (icebox cookies)
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large egg yolks room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar for 3 to 4 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Add the egg yolks and vanilla and mix for 30 seconds.
- Add the flour and salt and mix for an additional 30 seconds, scraping down the sides as needed to make sure everything is fully incorporated.
- Divide the dough in half and shape into two 2-inch diameter logs about 1 foot long each and roll up in parchment paper and chill for 1 hour.
- Remove from the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 375°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Unroll the dough and slice into even ½-inch thick slices and place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the edges are just turning golden brown.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely and enjoy.
You can freeze full cooked or decorated cookies in an airtight freezer bag for up to 3 months. Make sure to squeeze out any excess air.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)