CPS (Chicago Public Schools) Lunchroom Butter Cookies: Crispy, Crunchy, Buttery
A copycat recipe of the famous Chicago Public Schools Lunchroom Butter Cookies. Made with only 4 Ingredients: Butter, Sugar, Flour, & Vanilla. These cookies are crunchy, buttery, & down right delicious! It’s too bad they stopped making them in the schools. Although I did hear on the news that they are trying to get them back.
The *trick* to making this recipe I’m told is to whip the butter & sugar together with an electric mixer until it is light & fluffy. (as shown above)
The dough is soft & easy to work with you just roll it into about 1.5″ balls then use 3 fingers to gently press them down, I think it leaves a neat looking indentation on the top of the cookies.
You want the cookies to be a little golden brown especially around the edges & the bottoms. If you don’t let them get golden brown they will be more chewy & less crunchy. I’ve made these cookies several times & one time I didn’t let them cook long enough & ended up with a chewy cookie but you want these to be crunchy & crumbly.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Using an electric mixer cream butter & sugar together until light & fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
- Mix in vanilla. Add in flour & mix until well combined.
- Roll dough into about 1.5" balls & place on ungreased cookie sheet. Use 3 fingers to gently press the cookies down.
- Bake for 16 minutes or until the edges & bottoms are golden brown.
Marsha | Marsha's Baking Addiction says
I love butter cookies, these look absolutely scrumptious!
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says
I love that these cookies are just four ingredients! And you definitely can’t go wrong with butter cookies. Wish I had a whole batch of these right now!
I know it’s hard to believe that they only have 4 ingredients in them! I love simple recipes.
Mary Ann @ thebeachhousekitchen says
Wow, only 4 ingredients! Count me in Katie! I can’t resist a good butter cookie!
I can’t either! :)
Puja Darshan says
I just love cookies. This is so easy to make, thanks for sharing. :)
I love cookies too! :)
Summer Daisy says
Only four ingredients! This is awesome. I love trying simple yummy recipes like this. These cookies look really delish ♥
demeter | beaming baker says
Hi Katie! I’ve never heard of these butter cookies, but they are sure to be legendary. Love that you created a copycat recipe for these. They look utterly delicious. P.S. So great that you have a blog with your sister! I’m really close to mine as well-I have three (!!). :) Thanks for stopping by my blog! It’s very nice to meet you.
Thanks Demeter! That’s great that you have sisters as well. I love having this blog with my sister, a love for baking is one of the things we really have in common. Thanks for visiting our site & commenting!
I remember buying these at school when I was a kid They were a dime a piece and we all used to buy 10. We ate some then saved some which you know was quite hard to do for later. Some companies here in Chicago have crafted the recipe and sell them for three dollars for just four cookies.
Hi Dahlia, That’s great that you remember these cookies! I saw on the news once that a couple companies were selling their version of these popular butter cookies in Chicago because people loved them as a kid.
best cookies ever made
Wow , these cookies are so easy to make and taste as good as gourmet cookies! In fact, I don’t usually make cookies from scratch but i tried this recipe and the cookies came out perfect. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Maya, I’m so glad you liked the cookies! They are one of my favorites!
Katie Bradley says
Can you substitute the butter for vegetable oil?
Hi Katie, I would not recommend using oil in place of butter, the cookies would turn out flat & with a greasy grainy texture. If you don’t want to use butter I would try using a butter substitute like smart balance, that seems to work much better.
Do you have to use the vanilla extract? They look awesome but that is the one ingredient I don’t have…
Hi Sofia, No you don’t have to use vanilla for this recipe. Thanks!
Cindy Chretien says
Pls how much salt shoukd i add for 4 cups all purpose flour all I have is unsalted butter
Hi Cindy, Add ¼ teaspoon of salt for every stick or ½ cup of unsalted butter. Thanks!
l jones says
Be sure to beat the butter and sugar for until very creamy and allow to cool completely. Reminds me of when I was in school so good and very easy. I used 3/4 cup of salted butter and 1/4 cup of unsalted I did not add any salt and it worked out great!
Hi, I’m glad the recipe worked out for you. Thanks for taking the time to comment, we really appreciate it!
Lindsay Thomas says
Do you recommend chilling the dough before baking?
Hi Lindsay, The dough does not need to be chilled before baking. Thanks.
I found your recipe and tried to make 1/2 a batch. They weren’t awful but didn’t taste like the school cookies. I’m so glad I read some of the other comments bc I realized I used unsalted butter but didn’t add salt. That’ll probably make a noticeable difference so, I’ll try again. Thanks for the recipe.
Nicole, The recipe calls for salted butter and I think that is a must for the taste. If you don’t have regular butter you can add a ¼ teaspoon of salt for every stick or ½ cup. Thanks for taking the time to comment, we appreciate it.
Robbie Maples says
I remember our lunch ladies use to also make chocolate sugar cookies but I have no ideal what they added to the recipe to do that. Can anyone help me?
Alma Gladforasecondchance Wynne says
I am a product of the CPS school system and remember these cookies!! The smell, the taste, absolutely the same!! Thanks for sharing and it’s definitely a hit in my home!!
So glad you liked the cookie recipe. Thanks for taking the time to comment, we appreciate it!
Easy to make and delicious.
So glad you liked the recipe, thanks for taking the time to comment, we appreciate it.