French Butter Cookies

I’ll be honest.  I’m surprised by how much I loved these cookies.  I mean, they don’t even have any chocolate in them.  No ginger or oatmeal or molasses either.  Actually, they require only seven ingredients, all of which you likely have in your kitchen right now.  French butter cookies.  Who knew?

crumbly French butter cookies on a napkin

With a minimal amount of time and quite a small amount of effort, you can enjoy these crispy, buttery, simple cookies.  They shouldn’t feel fancy, but they do.  They make me wish for coffee in china cups, linen napkins, and chit chat with my best girl friends.

At the same time, they feel familiar, like the classic shortbread cookies that often get ignored–but shouldn’t–on the Christmas cookie table.  They taste like sitting at the kitchen table after school with a cold, tall glass of milk and the day’s homework.

There’s not much to them, it’s true.  But I loved them and I think you’ll enjoy them just the same.

Simple baking staples combine to make something truly special in these lovely, classic French butter cookies.


French Butter Cookies
from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook


1 c. unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
2/3 c. packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. turbinado or granulated sugar


1.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar on high speed until fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Reduce speed and add the egg and vanilla and mix to combine.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour and salt in two additions, mixing on low speed until flour is incorporated.

2.  Roll the dough into three logs, each 1 1/2 in. in diameter.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour and up to overnight.

3.  Heat the oven to 350° F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

4.  Roll each cookie log in sugar to coat the outside and slice into 1/40in. rounds.  Place cookie on the prepared baking sheet about one inch apart.  Using a toothpick or fork, poke two neat rows of decorative holes in each cookie.  Bake until golden brown, 12-15 minutes.  remove from the oven and let cool completely on wire racks.  Store in an airtight container up to one week.

yield: 5 dozen cookies

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *