In my opinion, there's nothing better than a good Christmas cookie that comes from an old family recipe. Steeped in tradition, these treats can mark the start of the wonder filled holidays.

This recipe has been in my family for generations, and got its start from my great grandmother, Elsie, who baked hundreds of these cookies every year to take to holiday gatherings and give as gifts. Being as all of the ingredients are kitchen staples, you can do the same without the tedious trip to the store.

tea, wine, coffee, beer, pizza
Liz Risko

Great Grandma Elsie's Butter Cookies

  • Prep Time:15 secs
  • Cook Time:11 mins
  • Total Time:11 mins 15 secs
  • Servings:2
  • Easy


  • 2 sticks butter softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups flour sifted
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Colorful sanding sugar or sprinkles optional
cookie, cake, sweet, candy
Liz Risko
  • Step 1

    Preheat your oven to 375°. Cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla. If you'd like to add a bit more vanilla, feel free to incorporate an extra 1/2 teaspoon or to taste.

    milk, dairy product, tea, cream, sweet
    Liz Risko
  • Step 2

    Beat in the egg.

    egg, cream
    Liz Risko
  • Step 3

    Add in sifted flour and salt. Beat well.

    ice, cream, milk
    Liz Risko
  • Step 4

    Your dough will look crumbly, but that's okay. You're not done yet!

    cereal, wheat
    Liz Risko
  • Step 5

    Knead dough into a huge ball. Leave nothing behind in the mixing bowl.

    flour, dairy product, dough, sweet
    Liz Risko
  • Step 6

    Load up your cookie press. If you do not have a press, you can roll the dough into balls or use cookie cutters. These cookies hold shape very well!

    banana, pizza, cake
    Liz Risko
  • Step 7

    Press onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Decorate with sanding sugar while the dough is still wet.

    cookie, cake, sweet, candy
    Liz Risko
  • Step 8

    Bake for 11 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack.

    cookie, chocolate
    Liz Risko

Include these on your next holiday cookie platter to really impress your friends and family!