Saturday, December 24, 2011

Spritz Cookies

251. Traditional Spritz Cookies are a family favorite in our home. This recipe is my mom's original recipe. I sat and copied it onto a notebook page back when I was 9 years old. Cookie baking day was always a favorite time for me, not only for the cookies but to spend time baking with my mother.
This year, my daughter and I baked a large batch of Spritz Cookies. These cookies are tender and delicious and they look wonderful on a cookie tray.
Over the years I have collected 5 different kinds of cookie presses. Three of them were from Tag/Garage Sales and Second Hand Stores. The metal plates that come with the press each have their own character. I used these four metal plates this year, the round spiral one, to the left is my absolute favorite shape.
Some cookie presses are electric and others are hand crank. I also have one that is trigger release. They all work differently and each press has it's positives and negatives.
One of the knacks to using a cookie press is to establish a rhythm so each cookie is the same size and shape. The longer you hold the cookie press on the cookie sheet the larger the cookie will be.
I have also learned that the dough will cooperate with you better if you press the dough onto a cold baking sheet, un-greased and unlined with parchment paper. The dough lightly adheres to the baking sheet, and you are able to stop, pull up and move on to the next cookie. Make sure you wash the cookie sheet between batches and setting the cookie sheet in the refrigerator to chill is a tremendous help.
Spritz Cookies

2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, not imitation
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In large mixing bowl combine butter and sugar and blend for 3 minutes, till color lightens. Add egg and vanilla. Mix till combined. Add salt and flour and mix till dough comes together into smooth ball. Do not chill this dough!
Prepare cookie press with desired metal attachment plate. Fill cylinder with dough by pressing down tightly. Place on top and begin ejecting cookies onto cold baking sheet. Repeat till all dough has been used.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or till light brown around bottom edge. Always bake a test cookie to test the desired time necessary. Do not bake too long...under-baked is always better than over-baked.

You have the option of sprinkling the tops of the cookies with colored sugar crystals before baking or decorating when cookies are cooled.

Store in air-tight container up to two weeks.

"I've never felt like I was in the cookie business. I've always been in a feel good feeling business. My job is to sell joy. My job is to sell happiness. My job is to sell an experience."
~Mrs. Fields Cookies

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