Old-fashioned cookies are some of our favorites.

Made with butter (of course), sugar, and vanilla, these lovely little cookies melt in your mouth. They’re buttery, smooth, and delicious! And the cherry on top is bright, sweet, and festive.

This Butter Cookie Recipe is a delicious combination of a melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookie and a classic sugar cookie!

plated Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Homemade Melt-in-your-Mouth Cookies

  • This cookie recipe uses simple ingredients to create a deliciously easy cookie.
  • This prep is simple, no need to chill the dough. Just mix, roll into balls, top with a cherry, and bake.
  • They can be made ahead of time and freeze well.
  • And the cherry on top is the icing on the cake! It gives these cookies a little pop of color, making them perfect for Christmas cookie platters.
ingredients to make Old Fashioned Butter Cookies

Ingredients & Variations

Cookie Dough – Some flour, unsalted butter, sugar, egg, and a dash of vanilla and almond extracts are the basics for this dough. For the best buttery flavor, don’t use any substitutes for the butter.

Cherries – The cherries used in this recipe are candied cherries (aka glace cherries or glazed cherries). These are different from maraschino cherries as they’re more sticky and not in liquid.

Variations – Switch out the cherries and drizzle the cookies with a chocolate glaze or dip them in melted chocolate. Sprinkle with a little colored sugar if you’d like.

How to Make Butter Cookies

Just a couple of simple steps to delicious cookies!

  1. Beat butter, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl or with a paddle attachment in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in vanilla and egg, then flour.
  2. Roll into balls & flatten. Add cherries.
  3. Bake as per the recipe below. Cool on a wire rack.
top view of Old Fashioned Butter Cookies

Tips for the Best Butter Cookies

  • Ensure eggs and butter are at room temperature.
  • Need soft butter now? Cut butter into pieces and microwave it at about 30% power for 20 seconds. Stir and continue to microwave just until softened. Be sure to keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t melt.
  • Beat the butter and powdered sugar for at least 3 full minutes, this gives the cookie a lighter texture.
  • Bake just until the very edges are a tiny bit golden brown.
  • Storage: Butter Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days or so. They will keep longer but they won’t be as soft. In the freezer, they will last for a few months. Thaw at room temperature before enjoying.

Did you make these Butter Cookies? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

plated Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
4.94 from 47 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Butter Cookies

Made with real butter and sugar, these cookies are melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 36 cookies

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour + ¼ cup if necessary
  • 18 candied cherries cut in half

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Beat butter, powdered sugar, and salt until very light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
  • Mix in vanilla, almond extract, and egg. Add flour a little bit at a time until well mixed.
  • Roll 1" balls, leaving at least 2" between cookies on the baking tray, and flatten slightly. Top with half of a cherry.
  • Bake until lightly browned on the edges, about 12 minutes.
  • Cool completely.

Notes

  • Ensure eggs and butter are at room temperature. Need soft butter now? Cut butter into pieces and microwave it at about 30% power for 20 seconds. Stir and continue to microwave just until softened. Be sure to keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t melt.
  • Beat the butter and powdered sugar for at least 3 full minutes, this gives the cookie a lighter texture.
  • Bake just until the very edges are a tiny bit golden brown.
  • Storage: Butter Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days or so. They will keep longer but they won’t be as soft. In the freezer, they will last for a few months. Thaw at room temperature before enjoying.
4.94 from 47 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 93 | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 12mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 164IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. Of all the great and traditional cookies I made for Christmas, this one, that I had never made, was the first to be gone! Thanks for the recipe.5 stars

  2. Cookies look delicious! Have someone with a nut allergy- what to substitute for almond extract? Could I replace the 1/4 with more vanilla extract ?

    1. Yes, you could swap for more vanilla extract and while it’ll slightly change the flavor these cookies will still be delicious! Enjoy Deb!

  3. 2” balls is much too big and this dough needs to be chilled before baking. Following the instructions to a tee, I only got 26 cookies and the first tray spread out flat. They look awful. The second tray, which I kept in the fridge while the first tray cooked, came out much better (though still enormous). Chill the dough, roll smaller balls and reduce cook time accordingly and they’ll be passable.2 stars

    1. Hi Colleen, for this recipe, we roll 1″ balls and place them approximately 2″ apart. This should help you make the full 36 cookies and avoid them spreading into each other. Hope that helps!

  4. I made this for a Christmas Cookie exchange and it was enjoyed. Not too sweet, and texture was soft, melt in mouth.5 stars

      1. I take mine out of the oven make a dent in the cookie with my thumb and put a small dollop of jam or jelly in the hole