This is a simple and traditional cookies Japanese recipe. They are slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. These cookies come together only 6 ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and cocoa powder. And all you need to do is place all ingredients in a food processor and mix together. (There is also an alternative method of mixing by hand.) You will love this delicate and melt-in-the-mouth texture.
What are the traditional cookies in Japan?
I think there are 2 types of standard Japanese cookies below.
I often see them at souvenir stores, and at baked snakes corner in every grocery stores. The cookies of this picture is the one from my regular convenience store.
Some people might recognize it as homemade cookies rather than purchasing one. Because you can easily cut into beautiful shapes with cookie cutters. I recently enjoyed making cookies with kids at the house party.
Cat’s tongue cookies (Langues de chat)
The second one is cat’s tongue cookies. Yoku Moku and Shiroi Koibito are very familiar brands in Japan. Cat’s tongue cookies are more buttery and crunchy. My new favorite is soft served ice cream in this cookie. (Here is more about.) You can find them in shopping malls or highway rest area on rare occasion.
The company specializes in cookies
However the most famous Japanese cookie brand would be Aunt Stella. A founder of this company is a man from Pennsylvania back in 1980. He made cookies with his relative Stella’s recipes. Now Japanese president runs the domestic company. They cover around 30 different Japanese styled cookie varieties. In addition, they uniquely have all-you-can-eat-cookies for an hour in some cafe style stores. (If you are interested, continue to read this article.) When you see a lady logo on a cookie shop sign in Japan, please remember the delicious cookie brand.
Let’s talk about this recipe. Firstly, I should mention about my university friend. When we were during the time, she gave me her delicious butter cookies for my birthday every year. It’s unforgettable taste and lately I asked her about her recipe. Then I simplified the recipe with the same ingredients into food processor version that works very well. A hand blender also can be used. I’m very happy to share the best ever butter cookie recipe.
Authentic Easy Japanese Butter Cookies
- 240 g cake flour
- 100 g powdered sugar / caster sugar / granulated sugar (only for food processor method ) add 1-2 tbsp more sugar if you'd like it sweeter
- 120 g butter diced
- 1 egg well beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Making by food processor
- Place the flour and sugar into a food processor and pulse until blended. If you use granulated sugar, firstly pour the sugar only into a blender or food processor. Blend the sugar until it is a fine.
- Add the butter and pulse until sandy. Then add the egg and the vanilla extract. Pulse until the mixture until a dough forms. Scraping down sides as needed.
- Take the dough out. Then knead and form into a ball.
- Divide the dough in half, and place one of the dough in a bow. Add the cocoa powder and well combine with hands.
- Pat the plain dough into rectangle shape. And put the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll out the dough to 5 mm (3/16-inch) thick. Repeat with the remaining cocoa dough.
- Wrap the 2 sheets of dough in plastic wrap. And refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 160 C / 325 F / gas mark 3.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the dough with a knife or cookie cutters into desired shapes and arrange on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake for 17 to 20 minutes until edge of the cookies slightly brown. Then cool on the baking sheet until firm.
Making by hand
- Sift the flour and leave the butter at room temperature until soft and beat until creamy with a rubber spatula.
- Add the sugar and mix until well blended.
- Add beaten egg little by little. (for 4 times) After each addition, well mix to combine. Then add the vanilla extract to blend.
- Add the shifted flour and incorporate until a dough forms.
- Remaining step is the same as food processor method. So follow from step 3 of the instructions above.
Note: the recipe was updated in January 2020. Specifically, I deleted cup measurement and added more detailed instructions for non-food processor users.