Cookie Calendar: Butter Spritz Cookies

Spritz have long been one of my favorite cookies both to make and eat.

On the eating front, they're tender, buttery, and just a bit sweet (not counting any sprinkles on top). Plus, they're tiny, making them seem extra special to me as a kid.

But making the cookies -- that's the best part! I was fascinated by the process as a child. Generally, one makes spritz cookies at home using a cookie press, a marvelous gadget my mom pulled out only a few times a year. My brothers and I all fought for a turn pulling the trigger that would make the tube emit a clicking noise and a shaped splotch of dough.

Cookie presses usually come with a few dies appropriate for the Christmas season, such as trees and wreaths. Try dyeing some dough green for these shapes and some red for flowers (think poinsettias) and ribbons. And pull out those colored sprinkles for "ornaments"!

If you don't have a cookie press, you can use a piping bag with a star tip to form your cookies. They will probably look a bit fancier as swirls that way, but it's so much less fun.

Cookie Tip #3: Lots of doughs can be put through a cookie press to speed up your portioning onto trays. Ideally, though, you should use soft doughs that will press easily and not create ragged cookies after baking. Also, avoid any dough that's meant to spread out into a thin crisp if you want to maintain the shape.

Butter Spritz Cookies
Source: Food Network

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ teaspoon almond extract

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 cups sifted flour

  • Sprinkles for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixer with a paddle attachment, add the sugar and the butter. Mix until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extracts and mix to incorporate. Sift together the baking powder and the flour. Add the flour mixture. Mix until combined. Using a cookie press, press cookies onto ungreased cookie sheets. Top with the sprinkles of your choice. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, or until firm, but not yet browning.

Download Butter Spritz Cookies into MacGourmet.

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