Ahhh, these wonderfully Classic Spritz cookies bring both sheer delight and a slight headache to my kitchen. Classic spritz cookies have always been around during the holidays as I recollect from my childhood memories. One of my aunts or uncles would always bring the giant tin container filled with assorted shaped cookies - all tasting like tender crispy and buttery cookies garnished with sugar crystals. I think it was one of the constant treats that both my grandmas' loved to indulge on as well. One of my favorite butter cookies was the swirly shaped and I swore up and down it was the best tasting one. Despite the fact that they all looked different and tasted exactly the same - it always brought a feeling of Christmas spirit after indulging on one. I knew that I wanted to replicate these cookies in my kitchen and piece of Christmas tradition, too.
The recipe is easy enough using basic ingredients of flour, butter and sugar. Thankfully, my girlfriend let me borrow the cookie press gun because she knew I was on a cookie baking extravaganza. I hadn't made spritz cookies before and it seemed like an easy task to try out. Using a cookie press lets you change disks to prepare many different shapes. You can decorate the cookies to your choosing - plain cookies, sprinkled with assorted colored sugars, and using candies or icings however you like. The easy prep work is filling the cookie gun with the prepared dough, and squeezing the trigger to make the perfectly shaped cookies (it's not that easy). Try these cookies out if you're looking for something fancy yet (sorta) simple to make and these would look gorgeous on any Christmas cookie platter. Christmas wouldn't be the same without them.
Adapted from Pampered Chef
1 1/2 cups of butter, room temperature (3 sticks)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two cookie baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat baking mats.
In the bowl of the stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scraping down the sides as needed. Add the egg and vanilla and mix to combine.
In a small bowl, add the flour. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. The dough should be soft and do not refrigerate.
Using a cookie press with your preferred disk, fill the container with dough. Press the dough onto the cookie sheet and release. The cookie should easily fall off the cookie press. Decorate cookies with colored sprinkles or leave plain.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are a light golden brown. Remove cookies from oven and cool completely on wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough.
Yield: 6-7 dozen cookies
Day 7: S'mores Cookies
Day 6: Andes Peppermint Crunch Cookies
Day 5: Gingerbread "Army Men" Cookies
Day 4: Chocolate Chip M&M Cookies
Day 3: Shortbread Almond Cookies with Guava
Day 2: Chocolate Toffee Cookies
Day 1: Cookies in a Jar