Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Spritz Cookies, Take One
I'm submitting this post for Food Blogga's Eat Christmas Cookies event. You can see a round-up page HERE (go look at all the beautiful cookies).
So I guess there's a learning curve to making these, eh? That's OK, my boys will eat misshapen cookies-and just look at that vibrant food colouring (mmmm, food colouring healthy....).
Last weekend my husband spotted the cookie press sitting all alone on a shelf at the Goodwill. It was taped shut so I flagged down a teenager working there and asked if it was missing parts, could I return it? He laughed and said sure, but he also let me open it to have a look. I made a deal with him-if it didn't work I'd be back for a refund but if it did, I'd be back with cookies on Saturday. Guess I have a few days to sharpen my technique.
I looked at a number of recipes and finally settled on the one in my 1950 Betty Crocker cookbook because all the other cookie recipes work so well. I guess I didn't feel like wasting a cup of butter to find out a recipe wouldn't work or wasn't adequately tested before being posted. I divided the dough in two and tinted it with gel food colouring (I might have used a tad too much but you just don't see green cookies like that every day. Don't they just scream "festive?" I'm feeling festive just looking at them on the screen. Pretty darn festive. It's feeling awfully festive around here. Oh yeah, the cookies-we were talking about cookies...
My fancy imported vintage cookie press came with a gazillion attachments and spouts for filling cookies and other cool things. It looked like it might have been used a couple times at most and I'm sort of sad the thing is so old because you could order all sorts of extra pieces according to the booklet, and some of them really looked interesting. I guess I could have a look at ebay.
Anyway, this dough is nice and soft and you shouldn't have any difficulty pushing it through a press. The cookies are very rich and kind of fragile so use a very thin spatula to get them off the pan and let them cool completely before trying to pack them.
I wasn't sure what to do for decorating. I resorted to jimmies and candied cherries though really, I think they would have been just fine without the decorations. I suppose if you liked some finely chopped nuts would work. They're so finely shaped it almost detracts from them to add much of anything. Maybe some jelly in the middle of the star shape.
Overall I'm pleased with my $1.99 cookie press. I was in the kitchen supply shop today (I scored porcelain ramekins for .25 cents each!) and noticed the average going price for a cookie press is around $40. and they are made of plastic, with less designs. Come to think of it, the cookie press cost less than the butter to make the cookies.
You Will Need:
1 cup soft butter
2/3 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Mix together the butter and sugar until light. Add the egg yolks and vanilla-mix well. By hand, mix in the flour and work until quite soft and pliable. Tint if desired. Force through press according to directions onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 7-10 minutes (mine took 8) until just set-do not let them brown. Cool on racks. Makes about 6 dozen cookies (I got about 4)