15 Dec

De-evolution of a Spritz cookie

I think Spritz cookies are a Christmas staple. Little butter cookies with green and red sprinkles — how much more festive can you get? I vaguely remember helping out an adult either at home or a grandparent’s house once or twice, and they were always on the plates of cookies gifted from friends and neighbors. Last year I tried making some and they failed miserably. I used a tasty looking recipe, but the cookies wouldn’t come out of teh press correctly. I tried chilling the dough (even though the press said not to). I tried with my non-stick mat. I tried without the mat. I tried adding more flour (to make up for the warm and humid weather here). I tried another recipe from the pamphlet that came with the press. Nothing would come out of the press and stick to the baking sheet and end up looking like the cute little bursts in the photos.

This year I had a brainwave. I would make the cookies first thing in the morning before it got too hot. I would press them out onto parchment paper which is less slick than my teflon mats and the baking sheets themselves. I would use a recipe from the press manufacturer.

Ha! The first few cookies did stick, but pushing the lever on the press wouldn’t dispense the required dollop of dough. I messed around with it a while, but although it was making all the correct clicks and ratchety noises, and there’s just not that many choices, I couldn’t get it to work and I was determined not to let it stop me and my cookies. The cookie in the 11:00 position is manually forced out of the press.

So, I ditched the annoying cookie press that obviously hates me, and moved on to a pastry bag. I used teh largest tip, but didn’t have the fitting that secured it to the bag. I was able to make almost two dozen little cookies (in the 1:00 position) before the tip shot out the end of the bag. I used a plain, smaller tip with coupling in the next bag. I piped a few, which looked like dog poop (3:00 position) until I realized I could make little pretzel shapes (4:00 position). They still looked poopy, but I was on a roll and made at least two dozen before the side of the bag blew out. Two pastry bags down, I was done with this technique.

The last dozen cookies are just dropped from a spoon (6:00 position). The kids and I will make sugar cookies and close the book on the Spritz.

7 thoughts on “De-evolution of a Spritz cookie

  1. Ha! Something I can do better than you? These are my go to, last minute cooky of choice. So easy and I have lots of different patterns that I use.

  2. I remember making these with my grandmother. The press we used just required a whole lot of pushing-no clicks or ratchety noise. It was hard work, but she was good at it! She gave me the press at some point and I think I used it once-it was just too hard! But nice memories-I had forgotton till you talked about it!

  3. I’m sure my attempts would be about the same. I would try but I think my press is packed away in some long lost box. I am in desperate need of the perfect cooking for the annual, high competition cookie exchange on Saturday. Best tasting, prettiest or most Christmasy. Any ideas?

  4. I remember giving all the girls new cookie presses for Christmas one year. Last year I tried to use your sister’s. If you look at the reviews for cookie presses on Amazon, you will find out why neither of us had the success I used to have with my old screw type press.

  5. We have always had Spritz cookies at Christmas time, and some years ago I went through the same thing you did, wrestling with the cookie press and confused about why they weren’t working the way they did when I made them at my mom’s. I think for a while there I bought a different cookie press every year, trying different ones. Finally, I bought one by Marcato, here:

    http://www.amazon.com/BISCUIT-Marcato-Cookie-Gun/dp/B0002T4Z8W

    and it works great. It has made making these cookies a breeze. It’s heavy duty, the disks don’t bend when you press dough through, etc.

    Here’s the “secret” family recipe (har har) — maybe this will work for you?

    1 pound butter
    2 cups granulated sugar
    4 egg yolks
    1 to 1 1/2 tsp vanilla (depending on how vanilla-y you want them to be)
    4 1/2 cups flour

    Cream butter, adding sugar and creaming gradually. Add a yolk at a time, creaming more in between. Stir in vanilla, then add flour a small amount at a time. Press, and bake at 400 degrees for 9-10 minutes.

    I find the trick is to add LESS flour than they say (my mom’s recipe calls for 5 cups flour and they are miserable to press out. 4 1/2 cups works perfectly.)

    I keep meaning to try Martha Stewart’s orange spritz cookies but haven’t gotten around to it.

    Your other cookies look lovely and delicious. You are a baking maniac!

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