Piping frosting on the spritz cookies - another angle

Grandma Lucy’s Spritz Cookies

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.

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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

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 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

  1. Sift together the flour and baking powder.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Whip the egg into the butter mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. Next, add the almond extract and water, whipping until combined.
  5. Fold in the flour and baking powder until combined.
  6. 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.
  7. Ideally, let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes. Don't refrigerate it—it will become too hard to squeeze!
  8. 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
  9. Or decorate after baking by allowing to fully cool and frosting or glazing.

While the cookies are baking and cooling...make the frosting!

  1. Whip the butter and granulated sugar together until they are light and fluffy.
  2. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  3. The mix in the powdered sugar, slowly. Add about a third, mix it in, repeat.
    1. You may not need all of the powdered sugar!
  4. Try to squeeze some of the frosting through a piping bag to test how spreadable it is.
  5. 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.
  6. 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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