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Share a platter of these Butter Cookie Wreaths at your next gathering and watch them disappear!
These delicious butter cookies are crisp and light, with a crunchy sugar topping that is completely irresistible. Without a doubt, classic butter cookies have worldwide appeal. One of the most famous is the Danish Butter Cookie which is piped into swirls before baking. You’ve probably eaten a few Danish Butter Cookies from the famous blue tin found at almost every store during the holidays. Instead of buying a tin this year, try our recipe for butter cookie wreaths and see for yourself why homemade is best!
Can you make this cookie dough ahead of time?
This butter cookie dough requires refrigeration before rolling out, so it’s great for making ahead. If refrigerated longer than an hour, the dough needs to rest at room temperature to warm slightly before being rolled out, cut and baked.
Can you freeze these butter cookie wreaths?
These butter cookie wreaths are perfect for freezing ahead. They’re also great for packing in pretty cookie tins, or boxes, for gifting. If well packed, these cookies are also great for shipping to loved ones. Freeze first, then pack and ship immediately. Freezing gives these cookies a little longer shelf life. If you don’t need to freeze for later use, they keep well at room temperature for up to a week.
These cookies disappear quickly so you really don’t need to worry about long term storage. Just saying!
Tips for making delicious butter cookies:
- Use any style cookie cutter such as wreaths, stars, rounds or flowers.
- For this recipe I rolled my cookie dough to 1/6-inch thickness. Feel free to roll them out to 1/4-inch for a thicker cookie, or 1/8-inch for a thinner cookie. Watch the baking time and adjust for thickness.
- Don’t skip the sparkling or coarse sugar topping. The baked on sugar offers a nice textural feature and a little extra sweetness.
- This cookie dough was designed to be rolled out, not piped. It has not been tested using a cookie press or piping bag.
- If the dough cracks or splits while rolling out, leave it at room temperature for a few more minutes to soften.
- Dust the work surface with plenty of flour to prevent sticking. You can also roll them out on a piece of heavily floured parchment paper.
- Don’t overbake the cookies. They are best when just set and lightly browned on the edges.
- Lightly brush the unbaked cookies with an egg wash just before baking. Allow the egg wash to dry for a minute before topping with sugar. If the sugar topping gets too ‘wet’ it will melt slightly and not have the defined sugary crunch.
- Don’t skip the pinch of salt in the egg wash. The salt adds flavor and also helps the egg white break down for easier brushing.
- For this recipe I used Bob’s Red Mill Decorative Sparkling Sugar as a topping.
These cookies have a rich, unforgettable buttery flavor.
When baking butter cookies use the best quality, unsalted butter you can buy. For all our baked goods, we use grade AA unsalted butter. According to King Arthur Flour, grade AA butter is 18% water, at least 80% butterfat, and 1% to 2% milk solids and has the most buttery in flavor of all three grades: AA, A, and B. It also has a light, fresh flavor and smooth texture making it a perfect butter for baking. Good butter rules in these cookies!
Butter Cookie Wreaths are made with just a few good quality ingredients.
In addition to using great unsalted butter, we also like to add the best Vanilla Bean Paste from Nielsen-Massey. You can find vanilla bean paste in better grocery stores near the vanilla extracts, or purchase on Amazon. I often use vanilla bean paste in baking, but especially in a cookie like this where you’re able to see little vanilla beans throughout the finished product.
Whatever products you use, I’m sure everyone will love these cookies. I’d be surprised if they don’t become one of your most requested cookies, year after year. They’re really that good!
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Butter Cookie Wreaths
- 2 ½-inch round fluted cookie cutter, ¾-inch round fluted cookie cutter
For the cookie dough:
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened (8-ounces or 226g)
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour 284g
- ¾ cup granulated sugar 170g
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk (white reserved for topping)
- Coarse decorative or sparkling sugar for topping
- 1 egg white mixed with a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon water for egg wash
- In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, sugar, salt, 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again until blended. Add the vanilla and blend on low until incorporated.
- Add the flour and mix on low just until combined. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough together. Divide the dough in half and form each into an 8-inch round disk. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a large, well floured work surface, roll out one disk of dough to ⅙-inch thick. Using the larger cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as possible. Cut out the center of each cookie using the smaller ¾-inch cutter. Carefully transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 1-inch apart. Refrigerate the baking sheet, with unbaked cookies, for 15 minutes.
- Gather the dough scraps and form into a dish. Refrigerate while baking the rolled out cookies.
- In a small bowl, whisk the remaining egg white with a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon water, to make an egg wash.
- Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and using a pastry brush, gently brush each cookie with the egg wash. Allow the egg wash to dry a minute or two then sprinkle each cookie generously with coarse sugar.
- Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden brown. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough by rolling, shaping, baking and cooling.
- Cookies may be stored at room temperature for up to a week, or frozen until needed.
- Cookies can be made with any of your favorite cookie cutters i.e. stars, circles, wreaths, etc.
- Roll the dough to 1/8, 1/6 or 1/4-inch thick depending on desired thickness. Adjust baking time as needed
- Makes 48 to 60 cookies depending on size and thickness
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