Spritz cookies, the buttery little bites we all love so much, originated in Medieval Europe during the mid-16th century. Called Spritzgeback in German, now shortened to Spritz, these delicate, crisp little cookies have become a favorite on Christmas cookie trays all over the Western world. They were prominently displayed on my mother’s and grandmother’s holiday tables and I continued the tradition until the cookie gun I inherited from them finally fell apart. I recently broke down and bought a new OXO COOKIE PRESS and all I can ask myself is why I didn’t do it sooner. It is made of sturdy plastic, comes apart, easy to clean and comes with twelve stainless steel disks.. Many of my old favorite disks are still being made and it is possible to buy additional sets that will cover just about any occasion.
The press performs well and it’s possible to make dozens of cookies in a very short time. This is a good thing because nobody eats just one and usually walks off with a handful or two. If you have a problem with the pressed dough sticking to the pan just put the cookie sheet in the freezer for about 5 minutes and the problem will be solved. This recipe is one that was included with the press and I think it’s a good one. The pamphlet also has recipes for cream cheese, chocolate shortbread and gingerbread Spritz cookies.
If you ship cookies to friends and relatives Spritz cookies are a good choice. They are small and can be snuggly packed into little boxes so they don’t rattle around too much. They aren’t crumbly and keep well. The powdered sugar glaze helps them to stay fresh. I’m mailing off my packages to my Chicago family today and there will be a big box of these cookies tucked inside.
- 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl cream together butter, sugar and salt. Beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, continuously beating.
- Gradually add flour, beating until well incorporated.
- Place dough in cookie press with desired disk. Press dough out onto an ungreased chilled baking sheet.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cookies are light brown on the edges. Rotate baking sheet halfway through baking time.