Saturday, January 14, 2012

Classic Christmas: Spritz Cookies

Although Christmas is over the first snow just hit Chicago and I don't know about you, but the white fluffy stuff makes me want to drink hot cocoa and bake Christmas cookies.

It was really strange not having a white Christmas, or even that cold of a Christmas, this year. I distracted myself with mountains of cookies, including my favorite and our classic Christmas cookie: The Spritz cookie.
These are the best to bring to parties, share with friends, and just snack on while working on wrapping presents, trimming the tree, and watching Christmas movies. I got the recipe when my mom bought me a cookie press at a Pampered Chef cookware party. I am in love with this cookie press and most people I know are jealous of mine. I'd recommend getting one, especially if you're always baking a ton of Christmas cookies and it takes too long. These are much faster than sugar cookies, just as sweet, and fun to decorate.

This year I used my sister's press (because who knows where mine went in the move) and we had Christmas ornaments, trees, wreaths, and stars to make with lots of colorful sprinkles. So here we go.

The Pampered Chef’s
Classic Spritz Cookies

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter or margarine, softened 
1 cup sugar 
 1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Fun colored sugar or sprinkles to decorate!

 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 

 2. In a large bowl, beat butter on medium speed until it's creamy.

 3. Add sugar, egg, and vanilla. Beat well until all are incorporated.

 4. Add flour 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each cup. Dough will be soft, don't worry, you want it this way. It will go into the cookie press easier.

 5. Push into cookie press or make dough into balls or other shapes. 
         For the cookie press you want to make sure once it's put together that the plunger part that presses the dough is forward so the dough is at the end and against the shape. Place the shaped side of the press on the cookie sheet and do roughly 2 clicks - depending on how hard/long you click the trigger.

6. Once you've filled a sheet, decorate with sugar or sprinkles. Have fun!

 7. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until firm. I like to see the edges just barely browning - make sure they're on the top rack to avoid burnt bottoms.

 8. Cool on cookie rack or plate.

It should make 6-7 dozen cookies. Some presses are smaller, like my sister's, so you'll get mountains of them. The best part too? 2 cookies are 120 calories. Merry Christmas!

Okay, so they don't have to be Christmas cookies either, that's just become the staple in my house. If you have the press it also usually contains other fun, seasonal shapes. So whether it's Christmas joy, another celebration, or just enjoying life, these cookies are perfect for the occasion.

- Mollie

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