Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Baking Week: Spritz Cookies

Spritz, cookie-gun, plain old butter cookies, whatever you want to call them, they are bite-sized and DELICIOUS. Even a small batch makes a ton of cookies, so they are a great option to throwing in a tin and carting into work. Don't expect to bring any home though!

There are a lot of cookie guns around, and they are nothing revolutionary. Women have been shooting out cookies for decades. The mechanisms have definitely improved over the years, though. I remember my mom refrigerating dough, scraping mishapen cookies off of the pan, and one particular Christmas, practically giving up altogether because the gun was so uncooperative.

I bought my mom and myself a Wilton Cookie Pro II one year. They were on sale at AC Moore, and figured, for fifteen dollars or so, what could I lose? I steeled myself for trashed cookie dough and hours of labor. Instead, my little gun spit out about two dozen perfect cookies and was ready for a reload. I was astounded. I didn't know spritz could be that easy.

I love these cookies for the taste, the versatility, and the number of cookies the recipe produces. You can use a multitude of shapes, including Christmas trees, wreaths, and my family's standby, the five petal cookie. The trees and wreaths can just get dusted in green sugar, while the petal cookies get a sweet little spurt of icing in the middle. Either way, the almond flavoring in this recipe set these cookies apart from so many others.

Spritz Cookies
1 cup butter
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 egg
2 ¼ cups flour
¼ tsp salt

Beat butter until smooth.

Add sugar.

Add egg and almond extract

Combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Add in three portions and mix well.

Pack dough into cookie gun, using a shape of your choice. Bake at 350° 8-10 minutes.

Icing for Spritz
¼ cup butter
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp cream or milk

Combine ingredients and ice cookies.

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