I must have bought my cookie press more than 8 years ago and I'm sad to say this was the first time I took it out of the box ... but I'm so glad I did. My mom used to make Spritz cookies each Christmas and I spent years helping her in the kitchen so I did have some experience. I think the key to using a cookie press is to get the dough to the perfect consistency so it will stick to the baking sheet when pressed, and retain the original shape once baked.
After some tweaking and taste testing, this recipe is absolutely approved! Unfortunately I couldn't get my hands on my mom's old Spritz recipe so I did extensive research to come up with a basic recipe to get me started.
Spritz are a delicate, yet crisp, little cookie with a deep buttery flavor and a hint of almond. Spritz is a German word meaning 'to squirt.' We Squirt the soft dough through a cookie press, fitted with various designs, directly onto the baking sheet. The dough can be tinted with food color and decorated with candy, sprinkles, fruit pieces, chopped nuts, currants or raisins.
I made a simple vanilla glaze and drizzled it on half the cookies for a little variety.
I love the colorful party you get from just one small batch of dough. Traditional Spritz Cookies will always remind me of my mom and how she loved to bake, especially during the holidays.
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Food color, colored sugar, nuts, candied fruits or candy as a garnish and decoration if desired.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium speed until well blended. Add the flour, salt, egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Blend on low speed until combined. Place the dough in the cookie press.
Press the dough onto ungreased cold cookie sheets. Decorate as desired. Repeat with the next batch but be sure to use a cold cookie sheet.
Bake for 8 minutes or just until they are set but not brown. Immediately and carefully remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
1 cup sifted confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Whisk all ingredients together and drizzle on each cooled cookie. You can also dip the cookie tops directly into the glaze and allow the excess to drip before placing the cookies back on the wire rack to set.
Store cookies in an airtight container.
(Spritz recipe slightly adapted from Betty Crocker and glaze adapted from Martha Stewart)
I'm really in the mood for traditional holiday cookies this year so I have a few more planned to post before Christmas. I hope you are enjoying the holiday season and spending time with family and friends. Thanks so much for stopping by!