It’s time for the Holiday season! With Thanksgiving over, and Christmas coming up… that means Christmas cookies!!! (Or, if you don’t celebrate Christmas, it just means COOKIE TIME!!!) It’s time to start baking! :)
Spritz cookies are always a favorite to put in mixed cookie platters… they also make a wonder buttery cookie to bring to a cookie exchange party. And the nice thing about these cookies, is that they are made from simple ingredients that most people usually have in their refrigerator. The only thing extra you need is a Spritz cookie press.
I got my Spritz Cookie Press at Home Goods for $15. I like the Kuhn Rikon brand, because the little plastic disks are made of metal instead of plastic, which I feel are more sturdy. If you can’t find one you like in a store, you can certainly purchase one online… there’s still 2 1/2 weeks left until Christmas, so plenty of time!
The dough for these cookies should stay ROOM TEMPERATURE – do not chill before using, otherwise you will have a very hard time forcing the dough through the plates to make your cookie shapes. You can experiment to see what plates give you the shapes you like the best – if you decide you don’t like the shape, you can always scrape the cookie dough off the silicone mat and stuff it back inside the cookie press tube. In step 3 below, you can see what shape disk I used to create the flower shaped cookies above. So far, that is my favorite disk because it makes a fancy-shaped, impressive looking cookie. My kit also came with 13 other disks (besides the flower one) – Christmas trees, candy canes, wreathes/rings, various flowers and so forth.
One very important thing when making these cookies, is that you MUST press them out onto an UNGREASED surface. If you try to press the cookies onto a greased surface, or to waxed/parchment paper – the cookie being pressed out will not “stick” to the surface, and it will instead lift off and stay attached to the cookie press. I find it easiest to press the cookies out onto a silicone mat lining a sturdy cookie sheet. The silicone is heavy enough that the cookie won’t lift off of it (and will stay put)… yet it has non-stick properties so you will have easy cookie removal once baked.
If you like, you can leave your cookies plain (like the Danish butter cookies that come in a tin) – you don’t need to sprinkle them with colored sugar. But I like the extra crunch and sweetness of the sugar, so I like to put a bit of colored sugar on top. If you don’t have any, you can always use plain sugar, or turbinado sugar. You can also use sprinkles, nonpareils, coconut flakes, chopped nuts, crushed candy cane – whatever you like!
Or, for a different twist, you can dip the cookie in melted chocolate (like a Pepperidge farm style cookie). Experiment with dipping the cookie bottoms, or even half the cookie, sprinkling the melted chocolate with crushed candy canes or peppermint – or even crushed oreo cookies!
Spritz cookie dough:
- 1/2 c. unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 c. flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- colored/decorating sugar (optional)
- Spritz Cookie Press
- large cookie sheet(s)
- silicone cookie sheet liner(s)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dump all the ingredients (except for the decorating sugar) into the work bowl of a food processor.
2. Pulse the food processor until you have a smooth dough.
3. Choose the plate you want for your spritz cookies. Remove the bottom ring from the tube, place the cookie plate against the bottom of the tube, then screw the bottom ring back on to hold the cookie plate in place at the bottom of the tube.
4. Pack your cookie dough into the barrel of the press, trying to avoid creating any air pockets.
5. Press the metal lever (see my thumb below on the metal lever) to release the locking mechanism, and slide the mechanism all the way down the jagged metal bar. (In the palm of my hand you can see the edge of the plunger that will go into the tube and rest against the top of the dough.)
6. Screw the mechanism onto the top of the dough filled tube.
7. Practice on a cutting board for the first few attempts – place the bottom of the press firmly against a silicone lined cookie sheet (or ungreased cookie sheet), squeeze the trigger once, then pull the press upwards. (It’s important that you press the cookie dough against an ungreased or silicone surface – the dough has to stick to the surface in order for the press to work properly.)
8. Repeat and press out cookies along the cookie sheet, 1 inch apart.
9. Sprinkle with the colored decorating sugar (if desired).
10. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool. (1 batch will make approximately 48 cookies)