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Grandma’s Spritz Cookies

December 13, 2011

These cookies make Christmas for me. When I was growing up, they marked the arrival of the season, a family tradition which required a lot of enthusiasm and massive amounts of butter. We must have been doubling or tripling the recipe, because I remember an enormous white tupperware container full to the brim. We then chipped away at the cookies until Christmas eve, when Santa would get the last few.

It requires a slightly obscure piece of equipment: a cookie press. Growing up, I used my grandma’s old metal contraption, which actually works a lot better than the plastic one I just bought. Maybe it’s the nostalgia talking, but they don’t make cookie presses like they used to. The trigger which squirts out just the right amount of dough for one cookie is a nice idea, but in the end I’d like to have more control.

On the other hand, I’m glad I have modern technology to finally digitize this recipe. This is the state it was in when I asked my mom to email it. I have no idea where Grandma got the recipe originally. I would assume she picked it up when living in Germany, since a little internet research reveals their full name to be “Spritzgebäck.”

There isn’t anything too remarkable about the dough, except perhaps 3 egg yolks. (This is not an artery-friendly dessert.) One caveat: I made the dough ahead of time, and it got a little dried out, which made the edges of my cookies crack. So much for preparedness.

Decorating cookies is a lot more fun as a group activity, so I brought the dough and my new kitchen toy upstairs to our friends’ gingerbread house party. (You might know one of them as Rachel’s Digestif.)

The partygoers made quick work of adding sprinkles. We also tried M&Ms which worked very nicely. Sadly, the valiant gummi bear did not survive the oven, and took his cookie down with him.

Everyone was really into the pumpkin-shaped cookies, in defiance of the numerous christmas-themed shapes.

This one is having an identity crisis.

I believe the cookie in the bottom right bore the ill-fated gummi bear. Rest his soul.

Spritz Cookies

Recipe from Dorothy Zahner
Makes about 60 small cookies

1 cup butter, softened (I used unsalted)
1 cup white sugar
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 400˚F
2. Cream together butter and sugar.
3. Add egg yolks and vanilla.
4. Combine flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Mix dry ingredients into the dough a little at a time.
5. Transfer dough to a cookie press and squeeze onto a baking sheet, a couple of inches apart.
6. Add sprinkles or M&Ms to decorate
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden. Check them often as these cookies burn easily.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. seth permalink
    December 14, 2011 8:16 am

    Oh man I remember these delicious cookies!!

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