Updated: Aug 27
The holiday season is officially here! And with it comes holiday decorating and, of course… Christmas cookie baking! It seems to be one of the favorite Christmas activities among families.
It's a time when we can all come together around good food and conversation and have a good laugh. There is no stress in baking cookies… it's a cookie! They may turn into strange shapes after baking or transferring them onto a cookie tray, but they are still made with love and taste great.
So naturally, we decided to give you guys a wonderful French butter cookie recipe. There aren't a lot of ingredients in this recipe, which means each element shows its true flavor. And, of course, the highlight is butter! Now, these aren't your soft sugar cookies, they should have a decent crack when you snap them, but if you look closely inside them, once baked, there should be very small flakey layers- the true beauty of butter.
These aren't your traditional Christmas cookies full of frosting and color. They are classy cookies best served after a dinner party. I always like to serve light cookies and drinks after dinner. It's something easy to snack on while talking with your guests. You can read more about dinner party planning and what courses work best together!
This recipe has three critical steps to note. The orange zest adds a very light citrus note to the cookie; not required, but I highly recommend it. Then there is the use of an egg wash. An egg has two parts: the egg white and the yolk. Each has separate rolls; the yoke adds color, and the white adds a nice shine. While other recipes often say one or the other, it's best to add both to get rich color and shine. Then there is the actual dough. Whatever you do, do not overwork this dough. It'll become tough, not have a snap, and crack at the top leading to a slightly less appealing cookie.
So without further waiting… let's get cooking!
"The Flying Chef"
French Butter Cookie
Yield: ~24 Cookies
Prep Time: ~15 Minutes Inactive Time: ~1 Hour Total Time: ~1 Hour 15 Minutes
1. 2/3rds cup Unsalted Butter- Softened
2. 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
3. 2 Large Egg Yolks
4. 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Paste
5. 1 1/2 tsp Orange Zest
6. 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
7. 1/4th tsp Salt
8. 2 tbsp Water
9. 1 Whole Egg
1. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Beat in the egg yolks, vanilla, and orange zest until well combined.
3. Slowly beat the flour and salt into the butter mixture.
4. Turn the dough onto the counter, press together lightly, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 45 minutes.
5. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and remove the dough from the refrigerator. Let the dough warm up slightly before working it—about 10 minutes.
6. Roll out your dough onto a lightly floured surface to about 1/8th- 1/4th inch thick. Cut out with a cookie cutter of your choosing (round is always traditional).
7. Beat together your water and whole egg. Place your cookies on a baking tray and cross-hatch by dragging your fork across the surface (we used a cookie stamp). Brush on the egg wash.
8. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 4-5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Recipe By: Chef Olson Thewoodenspoonchefs.com
Did you make this recipe? Take a picture and tag on instagram at the_wooden_spoon_chefs