Coraline – Button Cookies

“The other mother had followed her in. Now she stood in the center of the room, between Coraline and the mantelpiece, and looked down at Coraline with black button eyes. It was funny, Coraline thought. The other mother did not look anything at all like her own mother.” –Coraline, by Neil Gaiman


Although a simple sugar cookie recipe, the somewhat sinister connection to the “Other Mother” in Coraline lends them a creepiness similar to the bright facade of the 1950s. Available in a wide array of colors, the buttons appear purely festive, while still hinting at the curious world Coraline finds on the other side of the door.

Button Cookie Recipe

Makes about 5 dozen cookies

Prep: 20 minutes           Chilling: 1 hour plus           Baking: 10 minutes           Icing: 30 minutes


  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • water
  • food coloring

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix until thoroughly combined. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, putting in the flour a bit at a time, until the dough is all mixed.  Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least an hour.  Preheat oven to 325 F. Roll out dough to 1/4″ thick, and cut into rounds. Using a straw or the tip of an icing bag, punch holes where the buttonholes would be. Bake for around 10 minutes, or until the edges are just turning golden. Remove the cookies from the baking sheet, and allow to cool completely, else the icing will run off.  Mix the icing by beating into the powdered sugar the egg white, and just enough water to make a runny, pourable consistency- you may need to experiment a bit with this to get a great, workable batch. Tint to desired colors with food coloring. ‘To ice the cookies, place one or two cookies at a time on a long, flat knife. Hold the cookies over the bowl of icing, and spoon icing over, making sure to get the sides covered. Allow the excess icing to drip off, then transfer the cookies to a rack over paper to catch the drips. Repeat until all the cookies are covered.  Let cookies dry for several hours (if you can wait!), and serve with a glass of ice cold milk.

3 thoughts on “Coraline – Button Cookies

  1. I recently watched the Coroline film and got the same chill just looking at these cookies as I did when I watched it. They look amazing, and could be used on so many other things as well. Great work!

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