Roll Out Butter Cookies

Roll Out Butter Cookies


These cookies are a kid favorite for decorating.  For one of my kids’ birthday parties, I gave the kids different colors of frosting and let them “paint” their own cookie.  

                           Painting cookies

You can use cookies, or biscuit cutters or even a pizza wheel to make your cookies any shape you want. I recommend a dough rolling mat like this one:  

As it will make clean up a whole lot faster.

Also, these disposable pastry bags are great if you want to try to pipe on decorations, or for younger kids, you can even use the food-safe markers.

Butter Cookies

Versatile roll-out cookie that is great for cookie cutters. Change them up by using your favorite extract.
Course Dessert



  • 1 ¼ cups Powdered sugar (5.0 oz)
  • 1 Cup + 2 tablespoons Salter butter (9.0 oz)
  • 1 large Egg yolk
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Lemon extract
  • 2 ¾ Cups All-Purpose Flour (11.5 oz)


  • 2 ¼ Cups Powdered sugar (10 oz)
  • 2 Tbs Light corn syrup (1.25 oz)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Lemon juice (or sub 1 tsp lemon extract and milk for the rest of the liquid)
  • Food Coloring, optional
  • Coarse sugar or sprinkles for decorating, optional


  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F
  • Combine the sugar, butter, egg yolk, salt, and flavor and beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
  • Slowly add the flour, mixing until everything is smooth. The mixture will seem very dry at first but will suddenly come together. If it does not come together, slowly dribble in up to a tablespoon of water.
  • Divide the dough into 2-3 pieces, shape each piece into a flattened disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
  • Remove one section of the dough from the fridge and let soften on the counter for 20-30 minutes. (I stagger the removal of the sections from the fridge so the dough doesn't over warm while I am rolling out the first batch). The dough should still feel cold, but it is no longer rock hard and it is soft enough to roll.
  • Sprinkle your surface with flour and liberally flour your rolling pin. Roll the dough piece to 1/8" to 3/16" inches thick. Try to get the dough even thickness so it cooks evenly
  • Use a cookie cutter to cut shapes out of the dough. Re-roll and cut out the dough scraps.
  • Place the cookies on an ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet. It is ok to put these cookies close together they will not spread.
  • Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes. They should just be set and barely browned around the edges. Cool before frosting. If you have used parchment, just slide the whole sheet onto the cooling rack.
  • To make the icing: sift the powdered sugar to remove any lumps. Combine the sugar, milk, lemon juice, and corn syrup stirring to make a soft, spreadable icing. Add a bit more milk if necessary, but don't make it too thin you don't want it runny.
  • If desired, split the icing into smaller bowls and tint with food color. I prefer the gel food colorings as they don't excessively thin the frosting.
  • You can transfer the icing to frosting bags and pipe it onto the cookies, or you can use a knife, spoon, finger, or offset spatula to spread the icing all the way to the edges. If desired, sprinkle with colored sugar or other sprinkles. Allow the icing to harden before storing.


  • This is one of the few baking recipes where I recommend using salted butter. If you use unsalted butter just increase the salt in the recipe to 1 tsp.
  • My family prefers a hint of lemon in the cookies and a bit more in the frosting. It is also great with vanilla extract, almond extract, or for holiday time eggnog or butter rum. For the stronger flavors start with a bit less extract and flavor to taste.
    The icing is also good without any extract or flavor. Just use milk for all the liquid.



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