The Basics: Butter Cookie Dough

We're very happy to introduce our first ever guest blogger, Kelsey Nixon. You may remember Kelsey from the Next Food Network Star or Kelsey & Spike Cook. Here, she finds the solution to one reader's quest for a great versatile cookie dough recipe.
Having a go-to basic butter cookie dough for the holidays can be a huge time saver when your baking is in full swing (along with everything else!). This butter cookie dough recipe can be transformed into a variety of sweet treats for special occasions, gifts, and holiday traditions. With a few tweaks to the basic recipe, you will have an assortment of cookies that taste nothing like one another. It’s also easy to improvise your own creations. Adding a little bit of this or eliminating a little bit of that works perfectly with this recipe.

For more tips and to get my butter cookie dough recipe plus variations,


If you’d like to start your baking earlier this year, so that you are not stuck in the kitchen during all of the festivities, make the cookies in advance and freeze them. Place baked goods in heavy-duty foil, freezer bags, or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids before freezing. Be sure to label the container with the type of cookie and date. Cookies can be frozen for up to three months. Thaw them in their original container at room temperature. If cookies should be crisp when eaten, remove from the container before thawing.

Butter Cookie Dough

Butter Cookie Dough


  1. 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  2. 1 ½ cups sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 3 large egg yolks
  5. 2 ¼ teaspoons vanilla
  6. 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour


  1. Using a standing mixer beat together butter, sugar, and salt in large bowl until light and fluffy. Your mixture should be a pale yellow color.
  2. Add the yolks, 1 at a time, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Gradually beat in flour until combined well. Select and follow a variation from below to learn how to bake the cookies.

Makes about 10-12 dozen cookies depending on cookie size.

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