Introduction: Christmas Buttery Rich Spritz Cookies

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With Christmas fast upon us, and Christmas cookie baking is underway, I thought I'd share my spritz cookie recipe from 1980.These cookies are delicate, crisp with a rich, buttery flavor that melts in your mouth, you'll keep coming for more... definitely a Christmas cookie favorite!!

Step 1: Ingredients:

1 ¼ cups butter, unsalted, room temperature.

¾ cup confectioner’s sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp. almond extract

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

Food coloring

Colored sugars, sprinkles, as desired

Step 2: Speciality Item(s):

A cookie press is a device for making pressed cookies such as 'spritz'. It consists of a cylinder with a plunger on one end, which is used to extrude cookie dough through a small hole at the other end.
Typically the cookie press has interchangeable perforated plates with holes in different shapes, such as a star shape or a narrow slit to extrude the dough in ribbon.

Step 3: Directions

Step 4: Oven:

Preheat oven to 325ºF.

Step 5: The Key to Creating a Great Cookie Dough Is the BUTTER!!!

The proper consistency of cookie dough is critical.

If butter is too soft and then the cookie dough will be too soft or sticky, the cookies will not retain their shape.

The butter should be just “slightly softened”, this means it's pliable, you can press your finger into it. If it is too stiff, the dough will not release from the cookie press.

Step 6: Cookie Press:

Before making cookie dough, read cookie press directions and follow them for you cookie press

Step 7: Assemble Press:

Assemble the cookie press as per directions directed, using disk(s) desired.

Step 8: Cream:

In a larger mixer bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (2-3 mins.).

Step 9:

Add extracts and food coloring, blend evenly to incorporate evenly with butter mixture.

Step 10:

* Add lemon or orange flavoring to give them a little more flavor. Add food coloring colors in the dough, creating an array of colorful cookies!

Step 11: Tinting:

Icing Color is a paste, that tends to be more concentrated than the liquid food coloring - it's easy to add too much coloring, which cannot be undone, so you only need a small amount. Icing Coloring is very effective in dyeing a large amount of batter (like cake batters) and produces dark, saturated colors.

FYI... You can find Icing Coloring is available in a variety of colors. The Icing Color can be purchased at craft stores (Michaels), cooking stores, and of course… online.

Food Coloring Gels, the color in liquid gel dye is more concentrated than traditional liquid food colorings, so you need less, which is important in recipes where you want to minimize the amount of liquid added (such as in candy or icing recipes). Since you need less, there is less of a chance the coloring with adversely flavor the food too.

Food Colorings are the least intense and weakest of all the food colorings since it is water-based, meaning you will need to use more of it to achieve a brighter or deeper color. If you use a significant amount, the extra liquid has the potential to thin out and/or throw off a recipe.

Step 12:

Add coloring of your choice, gently blend color into sugar mixture. Stop mixing the mixture to check the color.

If it is too light, add a little more color and continue mixing until desired shade is reached.Tint dough a little darker than you would tint icing; cookies will bake lighter than dough appears.

I use Icing Coloring, I use the tip of a toothpick to pick up the amount of coloring still start with a small amount - say an 1/8 of a teaspoon or less for the desired color depth.

Step 13:

Gradually, add the flour mixture to butter mixture (adding a little flour at a time then, mixing before adding more flour), beat until only to combined. Do not chill.

The proper consistency of cookie dough is critical. If it is too stiff, the dough will not release from the cookie press. If it is too soft or sticky, the cookies will not retain their shape.

Step 14: Cookie Press:

Select a desired disk(s) to use at the start of making cookies and fill the tube with cookie dough, screw on a handle at the top.

Step 15:

You place the press on the cookie sheet and squeeze the trigger to release spritz of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet, rest the cookie press firmly and squeeze the trigger to make a cookie. avoid depressing the handle more than one click at a time. Wait 5 seconds ( up to 10 if needed) before lifting press from the pan to give the dough time to adhere.Repeat (1 to 2 inches apart onto baking sheet), until the cookie sheet is filled.

Practice, practice, practice. That is what it takes to achieve perfect cookies. It is well worth it, for you will have beautiful cookies in the fraction of the time it would take to roll and cut out cookie dough.

Step 16: Decorating Cookies:

Your cookies are now ready for decorating do so prior to baking, not afterwards. Decorate the cookies with colored sugars, sprinkles, topped with sugar or dipped in chocolate, they turned out GREAT!

Step 17: Chill Zone:

If you find the dough has gotten too warm during the process, simpily put the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for a 10 minutes to bring it back to room temperature and the right consistency and preventing cookies from spreading!!

Step 18: And Into the Oven We Go!

Bake 15-17 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. To ensure even baking of cookies, rotate the cookie sheet halfway through the baking process.

Step 19: Partial Cooling:

Remove from oven and cool the cookies 2 minutes on cookie sheet before moving them to cooling rack.

Step 20: Cooling Rack:

Remove the cookies from sheet; onto a wired cooling rack cool completely. Yields approximately 6-7 dozen Spritz Cookies.

Step 21:

When the Spritz cookies have completely cooled, I lightly sift confectioner's sugar over the top of the cookies.

Step 22: Storing:

Baked cookies will keep for more than a week if stored in an airtight container or zipper-lock bag.

For longer storage, freeze unbaked cookies right on the baking sheet and transfer to zipper-lock bags for storage. When ready to bake, place them back on the baking sheet and follow the recipe, adding 2 to 4 minutes extra baking time.

Step 23:

Please leave a FEEDBACK if you have made these Spritz Cookies, I'd love to hear from you!! And a very MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!

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