Grandma Lucy's Spritz Cookies
As a girl, spritz cookies were always my favorite Christmas cookie. My mother would squeeze them out on metal sheet pans with this old, steampunk-looking cookie press that looked more like a caulking gun than a kitchen tool, then we'd cover them in various kinds of sprinkles or press decorative dried fruit into them before baking.
In my mother's recipe box, the recipe was on a hand-written index card titled, "Dainty tea cakes". My grandmother had written it down and attributed to my great-grandmother, Lucy. The original recipe called for margarine and a bit more flour. I reduced the flour a bit to make it easier to squeeze — and I reverted the recipe to butter. Because margarine is gross haha.
As an adult, I discovered that spritz cookies are wonderful with buttercream frosting. I also learned that a cookie press is optional for making these cookies — before there were fancy presses, bakers just piped this dough through an extra-wide frosting tip. And that's what you see me do in our Holiday Goodies Special.
Spritz Cookie Ingredients:
- 1 cup Butter, softened
- 2/3 cup Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 2 ¼ cup Flour, minus 1 Tablespoon
- ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Almond Extract
Yield - about 3 dozen cookies
- ¼ cup Butter
- ¼ cup Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 ½ cups Powdered Sugar
- A few drops to a few splashes of water
How to make the cookies
- Sift together the flour and baking powder.
- In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Whip the egg into the butter mix until thoroughly combined.
- Next, add the almond extract and water, whipping until combined.
- Fold in the flour and baking powder until combined.
- Put dough in a large piping bag with a large number one or number three star tip, or use a cookie press to shape the cookies into fun shapes.
- Ideally, let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes. Don't refrigerate it—it will become too hard to squeeze!
- Decorate the cookies before baking by:
- Brushing with an egg wash and sprinkling with brightly colored sugars
- Pressing festive bits of dried fruit into the centers
- Or decorate after baking by allowing to fully cool and frosting or glazing.
While the cookies are baking and cooling...make the frosting!
- Whip the butter and granulated sugar together until they are light and fluffy.
- Mix in the vanilla extract.
- The mix in the powdered sugar, slowly. Add about a third, mix it in, repeat.
- You may not need all of the powdered sugar!
- Try to squeeze some of the frosting through a piping bag to test how spreadable it is.
- If it is too firm, whip in a bit of water, adding just a few drops at a time and mixing in fully. Retest. Repeat this step until you have a squeezable frosting that holds its shape.
- Divide and mix in food dye, if desired.
Watch and Learn
The episode below demonstrates how to make these cookies:
- Tune in at 4:02 for the cookies
- Then at 15:33 for the frosting
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