Slice and Bake Butter Cookies

These basic cookies are a perfect dessert that can be prepared ahead of time and kept on hand for surprise guests. They can be frozen, thawed and baked and still retain the delicate buttery mouthfeel.

Slice and Bake Butter Cookies

  • Servings: makes 60 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 250g / 8.8oz / 2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 227g / 8oz / 1 cup of butter
  • 140g / 5oz/ 2/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 large yolks
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
  • 70g / 2.5oz/ 1/3 cup of granulated or coarse sugar crystals for rolling the cookie log
  • pecan halves or walnut halves (optional)


  1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until lightened in color and fluffy, using an electric mixer on medium speed, about 2 minutes. Mix in egg yolks and vanilla. Add flour mixture, mixing on low speed just until flour is incorporated and soft, smooth dough forms.

  3. Divide dough into 2 pieces; form each into a log about 7 1/2 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate about 1 hour until cold and firm, or overnight. Or freeze, wrapped securely, for up to 1 month. (Defrost in the refrigerator before slicing and baking.)

  4. Position rack in the middle of the oven. Heat the oven to 160°C / 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, use a fork to beat the egg white until foamy, about 30 seconds. Use a pastry brush to brush each log with egg white. Sprinkle the 1/3 cup of sugar on a strip of wax paper then roll each log back and forth in sugar to coat lightly. Use a large sharp knife to cut each log into 1/4-inch-thick discs. Place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Press nut half into each cookie before baking, if desired.

  5. Bake one sheet at a time until cookie edges and bottoms are light brown, about 18 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Store in tightly covered container.

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