German Butter Cookies

  • Serves

    makes 5-6 DOZEN


(Butter Geback)

Everybody in Miles Chapin's family made these cookies differently, from the aunt who embellished hers with piped icing and colored sprinkles, to his mother who used a simple glaze and a dusting of plain sugar. He loved them all.


  • 6 cups flour
  • 1 1⁄2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. butter, softened
  • 2 1⁄4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs, 1 lightly beaten
  • 1⁄2 cups fruity white wine, such as riesling


Step 1

Sift flour, cinnamon, and salt together into a large bowl.

Step 2

Beat butter with an electric mixer, then gradually add 2 cups sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 eggs, one at a time, then alternately beat in dry ingredients and wine about one-third at a time. Dough will be very soft.

Step 3

Divide dough into 5 equal parts, flatten, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate overnight.

Step 4

Preheat oven to 350°. Roll out dough about 1⁄4" thick on a lightly floured work surface. Cut with cookie cutters, transfer to greased cookie sheets. Scraps may be gathered, rechilled, and rolled one additional time.

Step 5

Brush cookies with remaining egg, sprinkle with a little of remaining sugar, and bake in batches until golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely. Decorate as desired and serve. Store in a cookie jar. Cookies taste best after sitting one week.

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