Four Ingredient CPS Lunchroom Butter Cookies

by Jennifer Wieland
4 Ingredient CPS Lunchroom Butter Cookies

If you grew up in Chicago and attended a CPS school then you are more than likely familiar with the classic CPS lunchroom butter cookies that you used to be able to buy at lunch. These cookies were a favorite of students for years and years. If you didn’t attend a CPS school then maybe you were lucky enough to find a store that sold knockoff versions of the cookies. Either way, these cookies are near and dear to many a people who remember them from their youth.You’ll know the ones I’m talking about because of the distinctive ridges in the cookies.

So if you have had these cookies or you’re just a fan of a good, simple butter cookie then this is the recipe for you! These cookies are such a buttery treat and what makes them even better is that they only require four, yes I said four ingredients to make them. In the world of baking there are few things that are easy to make than these cookies.

4 Ingredient CPS Lunchroom Butter Cookies

Once you mix the four ingredients you will see that you will end up with a drier dough that is almost crumbly.

4 Ingredient CPS Lunchroom Butter Cookies

I used a 1 oz. scoop for my dough balls which is larger than your average cookie scoop. You can use a tablespoon to scoop the dough and then roll it into a ball. You follow that up with the classic finger press to flatten that gives this cookie its distinctive ridges.

4 Ingredient CPS Lunchroom Butter Cookies

Don’t press down too hard or too far otherwise you will end up with edges that are overdone. You want their to be about 1/4″ thickness on the edges. That way the edges are just turning a light, golden brown when the cookies are done.

4 Ingredient CPS Lunchroom Butter Cookies

4 Ingredient CPS Lunchroom Butter Cookies
Yields 18
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165 calories
16 g
27 g
10 g
2 g
6 g
33 g
90 g
6 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 165
Calories from Fat 91
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
Saturated Fat 6g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 27mg
Sodium 90mg
Total Carbohydrates 16g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 6g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 c. salted butter, softened
  2. 1/2 c. sugar
  3. 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  4. 2 c. all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat oven to 375° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
  2. Add the butter and sugar to a bowl and cream together on medium-high speed with a mixer until it is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir in the vanilla. In three batches stir in the flour and mix just until combined. Scoop out the dough with a 1 oz. scoop or use a tablespoon to scoop the dough. Roll into balls quickly as the more you handle the dough the more the butter melts. Place on the prepared baking sheets and using your three middle fingers press the dough down so that the edges are about 1/4" thick. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the pans for 5minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  1. There is a lot of butter in these cookies the more you handle the dough the more it melts. That is why I prefer to use a scoop over rolling. If that's not an option for you just do a very quick roll of the dough in your hands.
My Sweet Sanity

I bet if you remember these from your Chicago Public School days then you also remember the Lunchroom Peanut Butter Cookies as well. Make sure to grab that recipe too!

CPS Lunchroom Peanut Butter Cookies

These cookies are simple to make but are definitely a rich treat meant to share with others. Do you have any childhood treats that you miss?

Some of my favorite products to use to make these cookies are:

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    $10.78  from Sam's Club
    Cookie Baking Sheets.Pre-cut sheets. 12 in. x 16 in. (30.48 x 40.64cm) . Great for all your baking needs, from cookies and cakes to chicken and vegetables. Each sheet can be used for multiple batches. Perfect CookiesLine your cookie sheets with parchment paper so your cookies bake more evenly and slide off without breaking. No need for additional oils or cooking spray.Simple StorageRoll your leftover cookie dough in parchment paper. When you get a cookie craving, simply take it out, cut off what you want and put back in the fridge.Lift and CoolLine baking dish with a sheet of parchment paper. Pour in batter, bake and easily lift the sheet to cool and serve. Baking dish stays clean! Prep and BakeSave time when you're making multiple batches. Prep the second batch on a sheet of parchment, and when the first batch comes out, just slide the sheet of parchment with the baked cookies onto a cooking rack. Then bake the next prepped batch!
    $3.50  from Kmart
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Jennifer is a mom to 5 boys, 1 girl and 1 husband. Her kids range in age from 4-20 so things are always crazy with everything from preschool, to autism, to college. She tries to bake, craft and blog her way through all of the craziness that life throws her way.

35 Responses to “Four Ingredient CPS Lunchroom Butter Cookies”

  1. 1
    Pearl Eide says:

    do not press down TOO hard or TOO far.

  2. 2
    Sharon Jones says:

    Thank you so much , I made these and they taste just like I Remember,

    I was Wondering if you have a Recipe for the peanut butter Version of this? If so can you Share ,-p

  3. 3
    Lacee says:

    I made these but I was only missing one ingredient, vanilla extract. I was already halfway through with the butter and sugar so I decided to use almond extract instead and they were delicious! I imagine they taste different then if I had used vanilla but I am a sucker for anything almond flavored so I was happy. Everyone in my house has been sick and this was a quick and easy way to brighten up the day. Thank you for sharing!

  4. 4
    Diana says:

    These look really good. I might have to cheat and make them 5-ingredient cookies and add some orange zest!

  5. 5
    Shawna Terrell says:

    I remember these cookies

  6. 6
    Elka says:

    I am from Chicago and I remember these cookies very well. The highlight of the day was getting to the lunchroom for some butter cookies.


  7. 7

    […] since I posted the Four Ingredient CPS Lunchroom Butter Cookies last year I have received comments and emails from readers asking if I could please post the CPS […]

  8. 8
    Kesha says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I’m 38 years old now, I remember this cookie from elementary school. We were allowed to have 1. I would trade my lunch for another. The cafeteria lady started giving me 2. I’ve been a cookie lover since. I’m not a baker but I will whip up a batch or two soon!

    In school, our cookies had the perfect texture. The cook would use an ice cream scoop to shape them. She did not mash them down and they were delicious!

  9. 9
    Carmen says:

    I attended Chicago schools from kindergarten through high school, what a treat to have these cookies with a cold carton of chocolate milk. During my high school years, my cousins and I would walk and save our school bus money to buy cookies. My sisters and I would actually give money to our nieces to buy some cookies for us while they also attended Chicago public schools. I’m going to bake for Christmas, oh the anticipation . Thank you for sharing. Nothing like sharing something that warms the heart of memories.

  10. 10
    Tanya says:

    I made the cookies for Thanksgiving and they were great everyone loved them thank you.

  11. 11
    Gail Ogg says:

    So happy to see this cookie recipe. Our twin grands are allergic to eggs and this will be great Christmas treat for them!

  12. 12
    DiEdra says:

    I use to make these cookies for my business partners years ago and sold them for $10 bucks a dozen! Had to get my hustle on. LOL. They were awesome! Gotta start making them again – for ME!

  13. 13
    Esther says:

    Thank you so very much, now I can share with my children.

  14. 14
    Debbie says:

    Yes would love the peanut butter recipe one also.

  15. 15

    So happy to see this recipe. I grew up in Chicago and many different desserts were not an option, so your cookies were your desert.

  16. 16
    Trio Wilson says:

    Thanks so much I was looking for this for years 😉 older Chicagoan. I have tasted the knock offs after 40 years and they are not the same – I will try your recipe

  17. 17

    My husband has been asking for me to make the old school butter cookies for months I have tried twice but didn’t follow the direction lol so this time I surprised him when he woke up from his nap with a plate full of them. And I followed the recipe this time, so big smile on his face. The only thing I don’t like the salted butter, my question is,is it OK to use unsalted butter?.

  18. 18

    […] Recipe and photo courtesy My Sweet Sanity […]

  19. 19
    Lisa says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. We went to a Christmas brunch at my friends home and one of her guest brought these cookies to share! My husband and I enjoyed this childhood memory. I said to myself I wanted to learn the recipe…I have the second batch in the oven now, they are truly delicious!

  20. 20
    Lisa says:

    delicious cookies!

  21. 21
    Charlotte says:

    I went to C P S and was lucky enough to work in the lunch room. If there were any cookies and or chocolate milk left They would let me take it home. Some days my bag was really full, that was a good day. Still love and bake both cookies today.

  22. 22

    I just shared a recipe for Almond Butter Cookies on my blog and included your CPS Lunchroom Butter Cookies in a mini round-up of butter cookie recipes at the end. Thanks, Jennifer!
    Michelle Rittler @ Taste As You Go recently posted…Almond Butter CookiesMy Profile

  23. 23

    […] Butter Cookies – from My Sweet Sanity Jell-O Apple Chips – from Mamma Miss Banana Nut Oatmeal Cookies – from A Cowboy’s Wife Frosted Grapes – from Suburbia Unwrapped Fruit Crisps in Jars – from Generation of Savings Peanut Butter Cookies – from Poems Quotes Finder […]

  24. 24
    Brea says:


  25. 25
    Wade says:

    Can these cookies be baked on a aluminum foil pan?

  26. 26
    Diana duran says:

    May I ask what’s the right texture of this cookie? Mine turned soft in the inside with a the outside a little bit crispy

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