Egyptian butter cookies, petit fours or as we like to pronounce betefour, are one of those holiday cookies that everyone loves. These holiday classics are made even better and festive dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with nuts.
These butter cookies are kid and adult friendly. Usually enjoyed during holidays in Egypt with other holiday classics such as Kahk and Lancashire.
Baking such cookies is always associated with happy memories and gatherings during those festive days. Bake them with kids for a lifetime memories that they will never forget. Perfect for gifting too.
This post has been updated from the original July 2016 . Last updated December 2018.
What is better than butter cookie? Chocolate stuffed and dipped butter cookie goodness. These butter cookies recipe is for the butter lover in you. They are rich, melt in your mouth kind of cookies stuffed with sweet jam or chocolate and dipped in chocolate. Seriously, who can say no to these?!
Petit Fours can be enjoyed plain, glued with jam, or covered with some chocolate and nuts. My older betefour recipe used a great amount of ghee, which I really liked and it reminded me so much of the betefour I used to have back in Egypt when I was a little girl.
But this time I've used butter instead of ghee as it is easier to find, and reduced the amount by 50% . The result was more crisp and more manageable especially if you are a new cookie baker.
Butter cookies ingredients
Here is what you'll need:
- Butter, of course.
- Confectioner's (powdered) sugar.
- Eggs, whole.
- Vanilla extract.
- All purpose flour.
- Baking powder.
- Cocoa powder, if you are making the chocolate ones.
- Jam, chocolate, sprinkles or nuts for decoration.
How to make Egyptian butter cookies step by step:
This recipe is rated easy specially with these step by step instructions, we have made them several times with kids and they always enjoy using the cookie press to play with the shapes. Gluing them with jam, dipping in chocolate and nuts ) or go festive with sprinkles) is another story. It is a good recipe to bond over with little ones during these happy time. So here is a step by step guide to make those butter cookies.
- Unsalted butter needs to be room temperature. Add powdered sugar and beat until white and fluffy.
- Add two whole eggs (room temperature as well) and vanilla extract then mix them in well.
- Now in a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder.
- Add both mixtures and mix with a spatula. Divide the dough into two bowls one for vanilla and one for chocolate.
- Add cocoa powder to one of the bowl and mix well.
- Feel free to add more cocoa powder if you want it darker.
- Shape the dough using cookie press or you can form small balls and press them lightly or make marks with a fork. Bake in a preheated oven until edges start to brown.
- If you want to consume these cookies as is or make them better by gluing them with any jam you like ( preferably apricot jam).
- Dip in chocolate sauce then dip again in sprinkles or crushed nut.
Butter Cookies FAQs:
Are butter cookies the same as shortbread?
Butter cookies are very similar to shortbread but butter cookies contain more sugar than shortbread. Also shortbread aficionados ALWAYS bake them in a lower heat to keep their color.
Do I have to use a cookies press?
Not at all. You can actually pipe the dough through a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. You can also form dough into log(s), wrap in waxed paper then refrigerate until firm enough to slice and bake.
Can I freeze these cookies?
These cookies freeze very well for up to 2 months. Even better freeze them as dough logs wrapped tightly for up to 4 months.
You may need:
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This is a high quality cookie press, with metal parts!! which is really very rare these day. I've owned several plastic ones which didn't last very long, they usually crack and do not hold against a thick cookie dough.
- Maamoul is a traditional Middle Eastern cookie made usually filled with date. It has a soft texture and a delicate flavor.
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Egyptian butter cookies (Petit fours)
Traditional holiday cookies that are rich, stuffed with jam and dipped in chocolate. Sprinkle some nuts on the top and they will be irresistible.
Egyptian butter cookies ( Petit Fours / Betefour )
- 1 cup (220g) room temperature butter.
- 1 cup (100g) confectioners' (powdered)sugar.
- 2 eggs. room temperature.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cup (320g)of flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder.
- 2 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder- or more as you desire.
- Jam chocolate and nuts.
- Cream the butter and the sugar until you get a nice white creamy mixture. Add the eggs and the vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, add baking powder and flour then mising very well with a fork.
- Add flour to egg mixture until you have a nice, soft dough.
- Divide your dough in two adding cocoa powder to one half.
- In a prepared cookie sheet form your dough into a small balls – half the size of a ping pong ball- press it lightly against your cookie sheet with a fork to form marks on top of it, or if you have a cookie press use it to make the shapes that you like.
- Bake for 12– 15 minutes in a 325F preheated oven or until the edges are golden brown.
- On a cooling rack let your cookies cool before decorating.
- You can leave them plain or glue each two together with some jam, you can also dip in any sort of chocolate then into some crushed nuts.