Recipe: Festive Butter Cookies

Dec 7, 2020 | Featured, Recipes | 22 comments

Some of you may know this… I came to the US when I was 6 years old. My parents immigrated from China to the US to give me more opportunities, hoping that I’d grow up happier and thrive. 

My parents have made huge personal sacrifices when I was young to give me the best shot at life. I’ve only recently really sat on that concept and feel such a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude for them. How do you repay that kind of love? I think that’s part of the reason why I work so hard. Aside from making them proud I don’t want them to ever have to worry about me making a living. Honestly, at this point I just want my parents to enjoy their lives as much as possible.

For almost every holiday season in the last decade, I’ve dedicated my skills to creating joy for other families. I spent November and December leading up to Christmas baking cookies for friends, neighbors, & strangers. And while that was incredibly gratifying, the “cost” to me was time with my family and creating beautiful things for my loved ones. This is the busiest season for bakers so please give the bakers in your life extra love this season as they work their butts off trying to spread joy through their creations. 

This year, I’m not taking any orders. I’m not selling any cookies. I’m not planning any flash sales – I will be baking EXCLUSIVELY for my friends/family/loved ones and I’m thrilled about it 🙂

I’m trying to design a ‘holiday cookie crate’ to ship (hello Covid, we’re not getting together with folks this season), and wanted to include some of my family’s favorite treats…

High on that list are butter cookies. My dad has a sweet tooth and butter cookies are something we enjoyed as the occasional treat in the house. 

So I scoured the internet for butter cookies recipes. I landed on a few and this one stood out as my fav, so what I’m sharing below is adapted from recipes by myself (starting with our shortbread recipe base, and Cooking Tree on youtube)  – This recipe doubles and triples nicely for large batches, but if you’re making a lot of dough, make sure to only put a small amount in your piping bag at once or else you’ll overwork the dough and get it too warm… And what happens when it’s too warm? It’s gonna end up with more spread than there already is due to all the fat in the recipe 🙂

Be sure to watch the video – Recipe is written down below!

PS- My adorable sweatshirt in this video is from The Doughmestic Cookie – sooo cute and comfortable! It was gifted to me by @thebentokitchen

Recipe: Piped Butter Cookies
Yields approx. 4 doz 1.25-inch diameter cookies. 


  • 8 oz Salted Butter (use a good quality one like Kerrygold, you’ll really taste it in this cookie!) — This is usually 2 standard american sticks of butter
  • 100 grams of powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temp (about 50 grams)
  • 250 grams SIFTED all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract OR 15 grams vanilla bean paste OR another flavor of your choice.. keep the base simple to allow that butter flavor to shine



  • Allow your butter to come to room temp (watch video for what this means, can’t be too wet)
  • Combine powdered sugar and butter, mix well.
  • Add in flavorings, egg, mix well to combine, you want to make sure that egg is FULLY incorporated! I missed showing this step in the video 🙁 Adding the egg, just like adding the vanilla, will cause the mixture to curdle a bit at the beginning, but keep mixing, I promise you it will come together (as long as your ingredients are room temp!)
  • Add in SIFTED flour
  • Place mixture in a piping bag fitted with your tip of choice, being sure to only fill halfway to make it easier to squeeze the dough out
    • TIP: We doubled up our MEDIUM size piping bags from our shop — our piping bags are generally used to pipe icing and buttercream, and are quite strong already, but because this dough is particularly thick, I double up to prevent bags from bulging or busting 🙂
  • Pipe into consistent shapes so that they bake evenly — pipe for height as the dough will settle a bit during the bake
  • Right after piping is a great time to add sprinkles!
  • Place in freezer for 15-30 min. (up to a day so it doesn’t dry out– you can pipe, freeze on sheet and then move them to another airtight container to freeze the dough for up to 2 months to bake “on demand”)
  • Bake in an oven pre-heated to 360 degrees for 12-16 minutes (adjust based on oven, cookie size, and “doneness” preferences) until lightly golden brown. Rotate your pans halfway if necessary for an even bake. If you want them crisp all the way through, bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Allow to cool completely before decorating (i.e drizzling with chocolate or sandwiching)
  • Cookies may be stored in an airtight container for 7 days or frozen for 2 months
  • The dough itself can also be frozen (make sure to thaw on the counter until it’s pipe-able) before piping and baking

Tips, Tricks, Modifications:

  • Addition of chocolate, jam, dried fruits/nuts etc. really change up the cookie– make one base, flavor it differently or use different add ins– almost a whole new cookie!
  • If you find your batter too loose and oozing all over the place during the bake, omit a bit of the egg mixture (i.e. beat the egg, omit 10 grams of it), alternatively, your starting-state butter might be too soft
  • Cookies are still spreading? Be sure to use an OVEN THERMOMETER — this will tell you the actual temp of your oven. If temp is too low, your butter will melt out causing ooze and spread before your cookie get a chance to set up.

Hope you try these out! Don’t forget to tag us @borderlandsbakery if you follow our recipe! Let us know below if you have any questions!



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  1. Louise Beach

    Hiya, sorry just seen this after I’ve sent a msg direct through Instagram…..my question was asking if you had an alternative option to use instead of an egg?? There’s someone in my family who is allergic to eggs. Thanks!! x

    • Lisa He

      I personally haven’t tried, but you can google egg replacements and try those!

  2. Michelle

    Thanks for sharing the recipe! I watched the video and had 1 quick question. When you use sprinkles, do you put them on before your bake? In the video you put on the non-pareils before the bake but didn’t see if you added sprinkles before bake. Thanks!

    • Lisa He

      Yes, before baking 🙂 Otherwise they won’t stick.

  3. Tina

    How much coffee would you recommend adding in?

    • Lisa He

      Start with 2 TBSP and adjust based on taste 🙂

  4. Carol

    Why are my cookies turning out so flat? They look nice and round and tall like yours but they seem to be spreading out too much. What am I doing wrong?

  5. Carol

    I made these and they are almost flat after baked. When I put them in the oven they were round and fairly tall. What am I doing wrong?

  6. Carol

    I made these today and they turned out flat and spread out. What did I do wrong?

    • Lisa He

      Copied/pasted FB response- Carol Grimes oven thermometer is a baking must. My bet is your temp is lower than you think. Or maybe you live at elevation- if that’s the case google around for elevation baking tips ?

  7. Lissette

    Just wanted to confirm, I measure the sugar and flour first and then sift – or sift PRIOR to measuring?

    Thank You – excited to try these!

    • Lisa He

      Sift after you’ve measured 🙂

  8. Deanne

    Hi Lisa,

    Is the temp. in C or F ?

    • Lisa He
  9. Stacey S.

    I have not yet purchased a weight scale do you have the measurements in cups? When I look online I’m getting all different answers I would like to get them as close as possible for now until I purchase a scale. Thanks!

  10. Lexi

    Can you use a cookie press with this recipe?

    • Lisa He

      You can try it- I think yes.

  11. Kami P

    I too am having flat cookies. I tried adding flour, adjusting oven temperature, freezing the piped cookies for longer, adding cornstarch, takinf away 10 grams of egg, etc. But, they keep coming out flat after each modification. Any other suggestions?

    • Lisa He

      I’m tapped. Sorry.

  12. Gabby

    Do we put the cookies in the freezer before cooking? Just want to confirm if that is always or only if you are saving to cook for later

    • Lisa He

      Yes to before baking. And also yes if you want to save for later.


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