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Small Batch Butter Cookies Recipe

An easy recipe for melt in your mouth butter cookies! These cookies are perfectly sweet with slightly crisp edges. They can be enjoyed simply or topped with nuts or dipped in chocolate. Such a versatile recipe.

one cookie with a walnut in the center on a clear plate with two cookies in the background.

Of all the small batch cookie recipes I have here on One Dish Kitchen, these old fashioned butter cookies are some of my favorites. I love the way these cookies seem to just melt in your mouth, they're light and delicate and are perfect to enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea.

Butter cookies can be enjoyed very simply or you can go all out and decorate them by pressing a nut or a maraschino cherry in the center. They can be made festive by dipping the edges in melted chocolate and adding a few sprinkles to the top too.

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This small batch cookie recipe will yield 5 to 6 butter cookies.

three chocolate dipped cookies on a plate next to a pink napkin.


See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  • softened, room temperature butter
  • granulated sugar
  • egg yolk
  • vanilla extract
  • all purpose flour

Optional Ingredients

  • pecans or walnuts for pressing into each ball of cookie dough
  • sanding sugar or decorating sugar for topping
  • melted chocolate for dipping
  • sprinkles

See below for ways to use the egg white.

Want to make a larger batch? This small batch butter cookie recipe doubles well.

How To Soften Butter

The best way to soften your butter is to put it out on the kitchen counter for a half hour before you want to use it. Another way to quickly soften butter is to put the cold butter in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds. If you use this method, be sure to watch carefully - you don't want the butter to melt at all.

What Does Softened Butter Look Like?

You want to use softened butter in this butter cookie recipe because you want to cream the butter and the sugar together to create air pockets. These air pockets are what help make these cookies light and airy.

Softened butter should still be cool to the touch but when you press your finger into the butter, your finger will leave an indentation.

How To Make Butter Cookies

  1. Cream together the butter and the sugar with an electric hand mixer. You'll want to mix the butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy. This will usually take 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add in the egg yolk and vanilla and mix well.
  3. Pour in the flour and mix.
  4. Scoop out the cookie batter and place it on a cookie sheet. Roll the dough into balls.
  5. Using the bottom of a drinking glass or the palm of your hand, gently press down on each of the balls of dough to slightly flatten them to about 1/4" thickness. If you use the bottom of a glass and the bottom becomes sticky, dip the glass in a little sugar before pressing down on the cookies.
  6. Although not necessary, you can top each cookie with a nut or a sprinkling of decorating sugar. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) oven for 10 minutes.

Tips For Making Butter Cookies

  • Measure the flour correctly. If you don't have a scale, you can properly measure flour by using a spoon to fluff the flour in the container, then spoon the flour into a measuring cup and slightly overfill. Use the back of a knife or other straight edged utensil to level the flour across the cup. Do not scoop the flour. When you scoop, the flour gets packed too tightly and you will end up with more flour than the recipe calls for.
  • Use a baking mat or parchment paper to line your cookie sheet. I don't recommend coating your baking sheet with a butter or oil spray because it creates an overly greasy sheet which will make your cookies spread.
  • Flatten the cookies slightly with the bottom of a drinking glass.
  • Do not overbake. Remove the cookies from the oven when the edges begin to lightly brown.

How To Melt Chocolate For Dipping

You might like to dip one side of the cookies in a little bit of melted chocolate. Melting chocolate is very easy to do. The key to melting chocolate in the microwave is to make sure the chocolate is in small, uniform pieces. Chocolate chips are perfect to use here because they are all the same size.

Pour the chips and 1/4 teaspoon of vegetable or canola oil into a glass bowl and heat the chocolate in 15-second bursts, stirring between each. You'll notice that the first time you stir, none of the chips will appear to have melted - that's okay. By the third stir, you will be moving the warmer chocolate chips from the edges of the bowl into the center, thereby helping to melt the chips more evenly and quickly.

I use about 2-ounces of chocolate chips. This is approximately 1/2-cup.

6 cookies on a clear plate; 3 cookies are dipped in chocolate and 3 have a nut in the center.

Ways To Use The Leftover Egg White

You will only use an egg yolk in this butter cookie recipe. You might like to use the egg white in any of these small batch recipes:

How To Store Butter Cookies

Keep your butter cookies in an airtight container so they stay fresh. You can also freeze these cookies by putting them into a freezer safe bag or container. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Butter Cookie Frosting

Although I happen to think these butter cookies are pretty fabulous on their own, you might like to make a frosting to spread over the tops of yours.

Feel free to use your favorite frosting. You might like to try our vanilla frostingsugar cookie frostingcream cheese frosting, or use store-bought frosting.

Other Small Batch Cookie Recipes

Products Used In This Recipe

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For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

RELATED: Single Serving Comfort Food Recipes

two cookies on a plate next to one cookie on a separate plate with scattered walnuts on the table.

Small Batch Butter Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: cookies
Servings: 6 cookies
Calories: 138kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk


  • 4 tablespoons softened butter (¼ cup)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • OPTIONAL TOPPINGS: walnuts or pecans, sanding sugar, melted chocolate and sprinkles


  • Heat oven to 350° F (177° C). Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar with a hand mixer until creamy, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the egg yolk and the vanilla and mix well.
  • Pour in the flour and mix on low until combined.
  • Using a medium sized cookie scoop or a large tablespoon, scoop the cookie dough and place on the baking sheet spacing the dough 2-inches apart.
  • Roll the cookie dough into round balls.
  • Using the bottom of a drinking glass, gently press down on each of the balls of dough. Flatten to ¼" thickness.
  • If you're using walnuts or pecans, gently press a nut into the center of each cookie. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, if using and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges begin to lightly brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest for 5 minutes on the baking sheet.
  • Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to continue cooling.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 68mg | Potassium: 11mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 274IU | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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4 thoughts on “Small Batch Butter Cookies Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    Just me here, so small batch is perfect for me. I just made the Small Batch Butter Cookies, and it’s a good thing it only made five cookies because I ate them all as soon as they cooled off. What delicious little butter bombs! I meant to save a couple for tomorrow, but I couldn’t stop myself. So good!

  2. 5 stars
    I am so very thankful for One Dish Kitchen. I live alone and the recipes are perfect for me. What a savings
    As there is no waste. I used the recipes to make out my grocery list
    this week. Also love the simplicity of the recipes…which I need in my 86th year. Thanks

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