Holiday Recipe & Tradition Exchange: Butter Cookies by Jessa Slade


When Heather asked for new recipes for this Book Reading Gals exchange, I thought, uh oh. I’m a writer, which is to say I survive mostly on adverbs and dreams. I only have ONE recipe — for mint chocolate brownies — and I used it last year. The truth is, my only contribution to my family’s cook book was a desperate attempt to make pancakes using Swiss Miss hot cocoa mix. (Don’t try THAT at home.)

But for you people, I knew I had to come up with something grand. So I’m going to share my mom’s butter cookie recipe. Except, as everyone knows, nobody makes cookies as good as a mom makes cookies. So actually I’m going to give you my version of my mom’s butter cookie recipe.

1 cup butter (real butter) softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla (good vanilla)
2 1/4  cups flour

Preheat oven to 400. Cream butter and sugar. Add salt and vanilla. Add flour. (Don’t over-mix the flour; the dough gets tougher.) Use a cookie press, cookie cutter (smaller size is better), or press into small disks with your hands or the flat of a cup. Bake until lightly browned, about 9-13 minutes.

If you want to make the mom version, you add an egg, which makes it more of a spritz cookie and less of a shortbread cookie. But who has eggs just lurking around in the refrigerator? So when I accidentally made these once without the egg and they turned out fine, I figured I’d just leave that step out. Three cheers for efficiency!

If you wanna fancy:
— Add sugar crystals before baking
— Dip in melted high-quality chocolate (my personal fave, surprise, surprise): You can dip just half the cookie for a very elegant (and easier!) look
— Decorate with icing glaze (1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla, food coloring if desired)
— Make ‘em spiced (Mix 1 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and clove in to the raw dough)

I don’t have any pictures of these cookies. I always eat them too fast. But I know you’ll like them because everybody likes butter. Even Monster Girl likes butter.

(Is it any wonder people don’t ask me to cook more?)

The five books I wish Santa would stuff in my stocking:

FOREVER A LORD by Delilah Marvelle (A December release about a bare-knuckle boxing lord and the lady who beats him at love!)

FAIR GAME by Patricia Briggs (How did I miss this?! Sometimes I need to get out from under my rock.)

NIGHTBRED: Lords of the Darkyn by Lynn Viehl (Another December release. See how easy I’m making it for Santa? I’m a good girl!)

DARK CURRENTS: Agent of Hel by Jacqueline Carey (A new series from the author whose first Kushiel book is on my “re-read yearly” shelf.)

SHADOW HUNT by Erin Kellison (The third novella in the series, coming in February, which gives you time to get caught up if you haven’t read these spectacular stories.)

Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good book!



  1. CrystalGB

    Thanks for the great recipe. I love your photo. 🙂

    1. Jessa Slade

      Monster Girl loved taking the photo!

  2. Chelsea B.

    Butter for the WIN! I’m looking forward to making these… 🙂

    1. Jessa Slade

      I think the ring of white around the mad dog’s eyes pretty much says how we all feel about butter 🙂

  3. Na S.

    Cookies are my favorite treats to make on my own. They’re easy to make and still delicious.

  4. bn100

    Cute pic.


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