Sunday, December 18, 2011

Spritz Cookies

My grandma LOVES to make cookies. My mom and I started helping her several years ago, when my grandpa passed. It is more efficient with two sets of hands, especially when you make 20 batches. Because my grandma has been having health problems, it was just my mom and I this year. We were not as ambitious as grandma and stopped at 3 batches. The best part about making spritz cookies probably has to be the colored sugar. I think grandma agrees. She has enough sugar to last her, me and my children.
Grandma's colored sugar collection
You can pick all sorts of shapes to press the cookies into, but we always do the long strips. The trick to get them to come out in a flat strip is holding the tip of the gun almost parallel to the cookie sheet and moving a bit faster than you think. Filling the gun can be a bit of a pain, but once you get the hang of it things move quickly.
The effort and time are well worth it too. They never last long. When I was in Steven's Point my freshman year, my brother ate every last cookie before I got home. This is when grandma was making 20 batches and we got at least 6 of those. I was pretty angry and amazed, being able to put it away really runs in the family I guess. They bake up to be a slightly fragile, buttery and delicious cookie. The sugar being the best part again, I like to dip them in a glass of milk and watch it change colors from the sugar. I hope you enjoy! 
Does your family have any Christmas cookie traditions?

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, room temperature
3 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Beat butter, sugar, egg yolks and almond extract, about 4 minutes.
  3. Mix in flour to combine.
  4. Follow your spritz cookie gun instructions, piping them out onto a an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle generously with colored sugar. Bake for 6 to 7 minutes, until firm but not brown. 
  5. Prepare several cooling racks. Working quickly, remove them from oven and cut them width wise, using a butter knife. Move them to the cooling racks.

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