Spritz Cookies

Let me just say, for some reason, a cookie press is my nemesis. I have tried manual, battery operated, and electric presses.  They all give me trouble.  I even piped them by hand and while they look beautiful, oh my gosh, did that kill my hands.  I always get so frustrated and mad and insist this is the last time.  And, yet for some reason, I continue to make them every year.  That reason, I suppose, is that spritz are one of my husband’s absolute favorite Christmas cookies.  So, I continue to wrestle with that dang cookie press year after year.  But, I have to admit, I do love them too.  Who could resist these buttery little cookies, with a hint of vanilla, that just melt in your mouth?  They are so cute in their size and shape and decorated with brightly colored sanding sugar.  My mom also made spritz cookies for Christmas when I was a kid and when I mentioned I was making them she said “What a pain, I hate that cookie press!”  Maybe it is genetic? 😀  So, if you are not cookie press challenged like us, definitely give these a try. If you don’t know if you are, there’s only one way to find out….

Spritz Cookies

Yield:  6 dozen cookies

1 large egg yolk

1 Tbsp heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla

16 Tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft

2/3 cup sugar (about 4 and 2/3 ounces)

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups all-purpose flour (10 ounces)

colored sugar (optional)

Adjust oven rack to middle. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.  Whisk the egg yolk, cream, and vanilla together in small bowl.

In a mixer bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and salt together on medium high until light and fluffy, about 3 to 6 minutes.  Beat in the yolk-cream mixture until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly mix in the flour until combined, about 30 seconds.  If using a cookie press, follow the manufacturers instructions. If using a pastry bag, fit it with a 1/2 inch star tip, fill the bag with half of the dough, hold the bag at a 90° angle to the sheet and pipe straight down, about 1 inch diameter. Space the cookies about 1.5 inches apart.

Bake 1 sheet at a time, until just barely golden brown, 9-12 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through.  Watch carefully. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source:  America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

Helpful Hints:

  • Make sure your butter is very soft or the dough will be too stiff to form cookies
  • Bake 1 sheet at a time. While they bake, you can prepare a second sheet.
  • Do not put shaped dough on a hot cookie sheet or you will lose their perfect shape.
  • I like to add a vanilla bean or some vanilla bean paste for added vanilla flavor.
  • They go quickly, I suggest making a double batch 😀
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5 Comments

  1. I have never worked with a cookie press, but it is on my Christmas list. If I do get one, I hope I will be happy with it. I have made Spritz cookies without the press and I love the taste of them, however, nothing beats the great presentation of ones made with the press. Yours do look elegant as well as delicious. Well done!

    Reply
  2. Your cookies are so pretty! I hate my cookie press with a passion but I adore spritz cookies. Maybe I’ll break out the press and try them again this year.

    Reply
  3. Thanks Tina! I think maybe I just haven’t found the right press yet. 😀 It takes awhile to get the hang of getting them just right, and then I get tired of the shape and change the plates and have to get the hang of it again…maybe that is my problem! But, they are so good…they are worth it!! I just had some for breakfast 🙂 Many times spritz are more crispy. I like this ATk recipe because I think the addition of cream keeps them soft.

    Reply
  4. Anita

     /  January 8, 2013

    Have you tried doing this, instead of just an egg yolk use an whole large egg and remove the cream out of the recipe. I used an almost identical recipe as yours and found that the dough did not work to well in my press so I made these changes that I fully recommend and it gave me no trouble with my Denali cookie press which is a battery operated one. I find a warm kitchen and a stickiness to the dough is very important. Good luck to all.

    Reply
    • No I haven’t. Problem is, though the dough is difficult, the cookies taste fabulous because of the cream and yolk. But, it’s worth a try. Thanks for the tip 😀

      Reply

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