These butter cookies are for you if you’re like me and don’t like super sweet cookies. And they are pretty easy to make, even for beginners. (Read the notes from Kayla at the end of this post!)
These cookies are delicious on their own (try with coffee), but even with icing on top, they won’t be overwhelmingly sweet. They hold their shapes well, so if you have some cute stamps (even sandwich stamps), this is the perfect time to make use of them. The adorable stamps I used here are from We Might Be Tiny.
Easy, less sugary holiday/Christmas cookie
These butter cookies are for you if you're like me and don't like super sweet cookies.
- 1 stick 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 4 oz block of cream cheese room temperature
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Adjust the rack to the middle and preheat oven to 325F.
In a large plastic or metal bowl, add butter, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt into a large bowl.
Using an electric mixer, mix until the mixture turns creamy, about 3~5 minutes.
Add flour to the bowl and mix using a spatula until the mixture turns crumbly.
Pour the dough onto a baking mat or parchment paper. Press the dough with your hands until they come together. If the dough is still too dry after pressing it, sprinkle a tiny bit of water.
Sprinkle flour on top of the dough. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness.
Cut out as many cookies as possible. Gather the dough scraps and roll them out again to make more shapes. If using a stamp, press firmly since the shapes will be less visible once baked. Work quickly to prevent the butter from melting and turning sticky. If the dough turns sticky, place the dough in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up again.
Carefully transfer the baking mat/parchment paper with cookies onto a baking sheet pan.
Bake for about 15 minutes. Try not to let the top brown.
Cool for about 5 minutes on the sheet pan, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Decorate with icing if desired.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Butter should be soft to the touch but not melted.
Let’s Test Out This Recipe
I am happy to have an eager recipe tester, Kalya, on board, who tried out this recipe and shared her feedback. Kayla is a rookie home cook, understandably, still attending high school. I’m excited to have Kalya’s feedback, as I’m sure some of the readers here are also just learning to cook. I hope you find this section helpful and relatable.
Kayla: “As soon as I saw this recipe I was thrilled! There is something so fun and exciting about making cookies near the holidays. There is always that vision of cold weather with warm cookies and a cup of hot chocolate and I was able to relive that with these cookies! It was also convenient that these cookies were not as difficult to make as I thought and it also does not require a lot of ingredients. After I made the dough, it was so exciting to use cookie cutters to create perfect shaped bites of goodness. However, after you cut your cookies, I would definitely be generous with flouring your surface and your rolling pin because the cookies really started to stick to everything. After they came out of the oven, I let them rest for a couple minutes and then started to decorate them. I started piping using the “Favorite Day” white, cookie icing which was really convenient. It already came with an icing tip so all I had to do was snip the end and viola! I also topped it off with some sprinkles. Although the icing didn’t come out as well as I wanted (as seen by the messy edges and chaotic designs), they were so delicious! My grandma loves sweets so when she ate one she kept asking for more. If I were to make these again I would make sure to thoroughly mix the butter, vanilla, sugar, cream cheese, and water mixture. I thought I mixed it well enough but while I was rolling out the dough I found rather large chunks of butter still in the mixture. Oops! But even so, I think the cookies came out pretty well. I also found this recipe tasty and relatively easy. Making this with the rest of your family even when it’s not a holiday should be a breeze!”
Heejee: I was so happy to see how Kayla’s cookies turned out, which makes me believe anyone can do this! I prefer to use block cream cheese instead of whipped when baking or cooking with cream cheese. Although whipped cream cheese could work in a pinch, it can produce a grainy texture after being cooked. A lesson I learned after cooking several grainy meals. 😅 Another thing to note, as Kayla mentioned, is to whip the butter and sugar mixture well! This process, called creaming, is not just for mixing the ingredients. We are creating tiny air pockets in the butter that will make the cookies soft and light. Creamed butter mix will turn slightly lighter than its original color and have a smooth velvety texture.