Your holiday baking (or eating!) might not be complete without these traditional Spritz cookies. This is my first year making the buttery cookies and I am hooked! A kind friend brought me a beautiful plate of Spritz cookies last Christmas. I was so touched by her thoughtfulness that I wanted to pass on that same holiday cheer this year. While you could use a pastry bag and star icing tip to get a similar effect, the cookie press gadget is the key to these precisely shaped cookies. From flowers to hearts to pumpkins to butterflies, these shapes are going to be used year-round. Buy the cookie press for about $12 (mine is from Homegoods) and you’ll have years of baking Spritz cookies ahead of you.
I tried the basic vanilla cookie dough recipe and the surprise ingredient, for me anyway, was cardamom. I didn’t have that spice in my pantry and was curious to try it. What a delicate difference it makes! You can decorate the cookies with sprinkles, add food coloring to the dough, or ice them once cooled, but they are just as pretty plain. The cookie press makes fast work of the process and you can even switch shapes as you go. And if you think making these cookies is a breeze, eating them is even easier!
Ingredients: This recipe can be found in the Kuhn Rikon company’s Cookie Press Instruction booklet
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
makes about 4 dozen cookies
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
1. Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
2. Add the egg, vanilla extract, cardamom and salt with the electric mixer.
3. Now with a spoon stir in the flour until well mixed.
4. Roll the dough into a log-like shape so that it will fit into the cookie press. Pack it in the tube tightly. Choose your design and begin pressing the dough out by clicking just once on the cookie press. Fit about 12 cookies to a baking sheet. I used parchment, though the instructions state that an ungreased baking sheet is best and that no parchment is necessary.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes then cool on a rack.