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)


Susan from Food Blogga said...

"The cookie press cost less than the butter to make the cookies." That is too funny. I love that your husband spotted the press for only $1.99. It sounds like your family will get years of pleasure out of it. Cheers!

Goody said...

Thanks again for hosting the Christmas Cookie event-so much fun.

Karen said...

Yes, they do look festive! I love these cookies but I've never had good luck making them. Either my dough is too soft or too stiff... I'll have to give them another try!

Goody said...

Karen, I can't say enough great things about the way this dough handled-I don't know how well it would press in very hot weather, but on a cold day I didn't even need to chill the dough first.Probably cool enough in Montana ;)

Anonymous said...

I found you because I googled 1950 Betty Crocker spritz recipe, and I'm so glad you blogged about it. I have this cookbook in front of me, and these are the cookies my mother made (when she actually made Christmas cookies), but I have no experience with the dough. I'm going off of your blessing and trying them. Thanks!

Goody said...

Hopefully you can make them look better than mine!

SueB said...

My 1987 Betty Crocker Cookie Book Spritz Recipe is a little bland. After talking to my Mom she remembers her Mom using egg yolks. After searching google far and wide I found this recipe and the 1963 recipe are the same. I am about to go make a batch. I cannot wait. Some people said they are having a problem working with the dough. I live in Texas and it is way different from when I grew up in Minnesota. If it is warmer here I have to refrigerate the dough for about an hour before I can use it. I hope the helps.

Goody said...


I made these again about a week ago, and let's just say I've mastered the learning curve! They looked beautiful.

The egg yolks are essential, both for colour and richness. Glad you were able to sort it out, and to leave a comment here for people that may run across a similar problem. This is an older post, but still very popular this time of year. All Best.