Christmas Cookies: Spritz or Cookie Press
Not such a secret: when you buy your cookie press, there will be recipes inside.
Here is an old faithful recipe from The Joy of Cooking, a very dry cookbook with solid gold information when you are an inexperienced cook. The ingredients and instructions are from the book, but the explanations I am adding for clarity. Ask questions if it doesn’t make sense!
Although learning how to use a cookie press may seem hard, it’s about as hard as painting your toenails – you figure out the tricks as you go along. The cookies LOOK so fantastic, and you look so clever for making them . . . don’t tell how easy it is.
And remember, one reason we do these cookies is because we can make the dough a day or two ahead when we have a couple minutes, and stick it in the refrigerator in an air-tight container, and then just cook up a batch when we have the time.
I personally think they look better when you use strong food coloring, so don’t skrimp on the green or the red. It helps make your cookie platter look more festive.
Try one batch this year, just to get the hang of it. Double or triple next year, when you have more confidence in your cookie-press skills.
Heat oven to 350 F/180 C.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (not self-rising, not whole wheat)
3/4 cups sugar (the finest sugar you can find, if it is too coarse, grind it finer if you can because big sugar will give you problems getting through the press)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Blend in, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs:
1 cup butter
Break one egg into a 1/4 cup measuring cup. If the egg does not fill the cup, add water until it equals 1/4 cup.
Stir egg into crumb mixture, and add 1 teaspoon vanilla. This is also where I add the food coloring.
Beat well, then chill. Put about a cup and a half dough into cookie press and press onto UNGREASED cookie sheet. The dough should be pliable, but if it becomes too soft, re-chill it slightly. Don’t get discouraged at first . . . it takes a little while to get it to come out right, and to stick to the pan . . . keep at it. You’ll get it, just keep trying. Once you know how, you never forget.
Bake at 10 – 15 minutes.
These beautiful cookies in the photo are courtesy of about Southern food.com.