Now that I'm a grownup, I've got to make my own spritz. Although they look tedious, they're actually very easy cookies. And they keep well, and ship well, so are great gifts if you're into "make-your-own" gift giving.
Once I'm satisfied that the butter is totally room temperature, I sprinkle in the flour.
I like to save the egg whites. I was thinking of making meringue cookies with my leftovers today, but the Kiddo wanted eggs (and doesn't really like the yolks anyway) so my whites got turned into scrambled eggs instead of fluffy cookies.
I also added almond extract. I didn't get a picture of it--it's sort of hard to photograph a clear liquid, and it looked funny in my measuring spoon with the little specks of vanilla that got left behind. But I did add it. I promise!
If you don't have a cookie press, feel free to roll the cookies into little balls instead. For me, it's the shapes that make them spritz cookies--although I was informed by a relative over Thanksgiving that they're not really spritz cookies to him unless they're "S" shaped. So maybe spritz cookies to you mean little round cookies.
If you like thumbprint cookies, you could smush a little well into your cookie balls and spoon in some jam. You may want to pop your cookie sheet into the freezer for a few minutes, though, or the edges of the cookies may spread and get a little dark.
If your cookies come out less-than-perfect, and you're a perfectionist, don't worry about it. Just scrape your cookies off your baking sheets and put them back in your mixing bowl. It won't hurt them a bit to go back through your cookie press for a more-perfect try.
You may end up with a bit of a sprinkle mess, though.
If you like them to have that pristine white look, using a lighter-colored cookie sheet or a silicone baking mat will help.
Let your cookies cool completely and then don't be afraid to dig in! They freeze and ship well if you've got relatives who live far away who crave a taste of home. They're great plain or with sprinkles, and also hold up just fine to frosting. Add food coloring if you're feeling more festive, or decorate with red hots or large nonpareils.
|I bet the dog wishes he could fly over to my kitchen island!|
1 c. plus 2 tbsp. (2 sticks plus 2 tbsp.) salted butter, softened*
1 1/4 c. flour
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Preheat oven to 400F.
Cream butter to ensure it's warm enough. Add flour and beat to combine.
Add egg yolks one at a time, beating gently after each addition.
Add vanilla and almond extracts, mixing gently to combine.
Scoop dough into cookie press. Press cookies onto ungreased cookie sheets, spaced 2 inches apart.
Bake 6-8 minutes until just set. Let cool slightly before moving to cooling racks.
Tip: Using lighter cookie sheets will prevent cookies from becoming too dark.
Tip: Let cookie sheets cool fully before using for a second round of cookies. If the sheets look shiny or the dough refuses to stick, use a dry paper towel to wipe excess butter off the sheets.
Tip: Some plates work better than others. If your first press is hard to work with, try another. I like to use presses with a center and larger side holes that are spaced close together. The cookies won't spread much, so if all the pieces of the cookie aren't touching when they're raw, chances are they won't be touching after the cookies have cooked.
*If you're using unsalted butter, add 1/2 tsp. salt to the recipe. I happened to use salted butter because that was what I had on hand that day.