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French Butter Cookies (Petits-Beurre)

A basic recipe for French petits-beurre (butter) cookies. A customizable recipe that's perfect for holiday or special occasion cookie cutouts!
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword butternut squash, Cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Author Andrea | French Pressed Kitchen


  • 400 grams all-purpose flour
  • 100 grams whole wheat pastry flour
  • 200 grams granulated (white) sugar
  • 200 grams salted butter (I love Kerrygold)
  • 6.5 Tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract*


  • Mix the flour and baking powder together in a large bowl, whisking until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter, sugar and water over low heat, stirring constantly. Wait until the mixture just boils, then remove from heat and turn off flame. Let the liquid mixture cool 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly. When the mixture is cool, add in the vanilla (or almond) extract.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and slowly add in the liquid ingredients. Mix until just combined, slowly folding in the liquid so as not to overwork the flour. When the dough comes together, shape into a few balls, then flatten into discs. Cover tightly with saran wrap, then refrigerate for 1-2 hours (or overnight).
  • When ready to bake the cookies, bring the dough to room temperature (depending on your disc size, fridge temp, etc., this may take a few hours – mine took a good 2.5 hours in cool weather). The dough should be pliable enough to roll, but not so room temperature that it feels oily.
  • Roll dough out to a thin layer (2-3mm). If the dough is a little thick, the cookies will just take a little longer to cook, and that’s okay.
  • If using cookie cutters, dip the cookie cutter in flour each time and tap off any extra before stamping a cookie in the dough. With the cutters that I bought, this method worked nicely. Slowly lift out the cookie and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • ake at 350F (180C) for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges of the cookie are just golden brown. The cooking time can vary greatly depending on ovens, so start with a shorter amount of time to make sure they don’t burn. The cookies will harden as they cool, so as long as they look golden brown on the edges they will turn out well set.


** Lemon or orange zest would work well, as would some finely diced nuts (not too many though!)