The Free Motion Quilting Project: Basic Butter Cookies

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Basic Butter Cookies

Yes, I'm baking! Whenever life gets stressful and I've found myself stuck on the computer for too many days in a row, I know it's time to get into the kitchen and bake. Last night I pulled out the mixer and James and I whipped up a batch of basic butter cookies while Josh cooked dinner. It was all a bit chaotic, but we managed to make a video nonetheless:

Yes, Black Friday to Cyber Monday is our biggest sale of the year and Josh spent the day checking email and packing orders with Dad. I was busy finishing up the last few edits to the new Dancing Butterfly Quilt Pattern (yes, it's officially down to the wire).

James spent a lot of time playing video games and watching TV, and yes, I was feeling extremely guilty about that. Sometimes working online feels like a frustrating juggle between work and family life and creative time. Then again, most moms I know work normal jobs and also struggle to make everything fit.

Whenever I feel too guilty that James is playing too much Lego Star Wars, I just remind myself that this is his vacation time, and what did I love to do on break as a kid? Play video games! So I decided last night to stop feeling guilty and make the best of the time we had together in the evening. And that involved baking both blueberry muffins and these basic butter cookies!

Here's the recipe for these Basic Butter Cookies:

1 cup (2 sticks) softened, unsalted butter
1/2 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a low speed mixer until combined. Gradually add the flour, then stir in nuts. Roll into 1-inch ball and place about 1-inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until the cookies are firm to the touch, but not brown. While still warm, roll the cookies in powdered sugar, then cool completely on a rack and reroll before serving.

These are super simple, but I have ideas for mixing them up a bit. I've never tried these variations, but they sound like they would work great:

Peppermint Variation:

Exchange the vanilla for 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract and exchange the pecans for 1/2 cup chopped candy canes. I think this could be REALLY pepperminty!

Chocolate Variation:

Exclude the pecans, and press the cookies down with a thumbprint and add a few milk chocolate morsels in the middle. Whether it works or not, chocolate and butter are always a good combo!


Leah Day


  1. Thanks for the yummy cookie recipe. I too find holiday relaxation by baking cookies. And always looking for new recipes. I look forward to making your cookies. Glad to see you spend time with James baking.


  2. They sound delicious and versatile too!

  3. I love these cookies, but have never made them. Now I know how!

    This is the first time I have seen the "Flex Edge Beater." Looks useful! (See, you just never know what will be useful in casual cam.)


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