Monday, November 11, 2013

Spritz Cookies/Swedish Butter Cookies


For the most part, I've kept my kitchen gadget addiction under control. That is, until I started to see a few blog posts about OXO's Cookie Press. It's been many years since I've made Spritz Cookies. Partly, it's because my 30-year old metal cookie press became separated from some of it's parts. I bought another one, made of clear plastic. I forget the brand, but it broke the first time I used it. Plus, the cookies were okay. But I didn't find them to be anything special.

 
So, I caved and I bought the cookie press. The cookie press comes with recipes, but I found  an America's Test Kitchen recipethat I wanted to try, first.  A basic spritz cookie recipe is very simple-- butter, sugar, egg, salt, vanilla and flour.  America's Test Kitchen recipes usually have some sort of "twist", and so far, any recipe I've made of theirs turns out great. This recipe was no exception.

You don't have to buy a cookie press to make Spritz cookies! You can use a piping bag with a star tip. I will say, though, that cookie presses are easy, fast and a bit of fun to use. 

ATK's "twist" is that they use only the egg yolk, and one tablespoon of heavy cream.  Once the egg yolk and heavy cream are whisked together, I added one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.

Two sticks of softened butter, a pinch of salt and sugar are beaten until fluffy.  Then the egg/heavy cream mixture is added and mixed until blended.

2 cups of flour is gradually added, and then you scrape the dough until it's all gathered in the mixing bowl. This takes minutes! The key is to have the dough soft, so it can squeeze through the press.

I liked ATK's tip of shaping the soft dough into a "log", which drops into the cookie press cylinder.

I decided to choose the "Sunflower" disk.  This cookie press using a lever that you press down on. It works great!  See?

Yes, you'll get a few deformed cookie shapes. All you have to do is scoop them off the baking sheet, and toss them back into the bowl of dough. (Or, you can pop them into your mouth. Hey, I've eaten raw cookie dough all my life, and have never gotten sick!)

Whatever you do, do not set the cookie dough on parchment paper, nor should you grease the baking sheet. You'll get frustrated. Trust me, the cookies won't stick. I promise.


I also made an almond version of cookie dough, by adding 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract and 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.  I decided to add some coarse sugar on top, for texture and I use the "Daisy" disk for this version.

For Christmas cookies, I have some red and green coarse sugar. This batch is purely for practice!

I baked the cookies at 375F and rotated them half way between baking times-- which turned out to be ten minutes for a slightly golden edge.  I found that it was ideal to loosen each baked cookie after a few minutes and then to let them cool for a few more minutes. Then, I moved them to a cooling rack.

One more thing-- don't press cookies onto a warm cookie sheet! Let the baking sheet cool completely.  I was able to put them into the freezer to speed up the process, as I have three cookie sheets and wanted to move things along.

Each batch of dough yielded about 5 dozen cookies.  I stored them in an air tight container and the next morning they were exactly the same as when they were freshly baked.

TASTING NOTES:  These cookies are anything but ho-hum.  The vanilla version was buttery and crispy, with a really tender crumb. My son's eyes lit up when he tasted them. He said they were just like eating potato chips-- you can't eat just one!   I'm a big fan of almond flavored sweets, so I favor the almond version.  I have plans for other flavors-- like chocolate, and adding lemon zest for a citrus variation. I've got a few other ideas, I'll keep under wraps for now.

While these cookies are considered a traditional Christmas cookie, I think they are delicious anytime of year-- especially with tea.

My next recipe, using this Cookie Press will be some savory cheesy crackers (er, "biscuits).  You will be the first to know how they turned out!

NOTE: OXO did a great job with developing this cookie press  I like the press down lever (as opposed to my former "twist" handle). I also like that this is dishwasher friendly. OXO did not choose me to receive this cookie press for free (I wish).  I'm not being paid to promote this product. My opinions are truly my own!

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13 comments:

Joolz said...

Your cookies look beautiful. I can remember my mother making 'forcer' biscuits each Christmas and her cursing when the mixture wasn't the right consistency to go through the machine. Somehow they always turned out okay.

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

I have such wonderful memories associated with these little butter cookies. I can't look at them without thinking about my Mutti. My old cookie gun was so temperamental that I tossed it years ago. Thinking about a new one.

Jenn Nahrstadt said...

i grew up with a version of this kind of cookie that uses not only butter but cream cheese. you HAVE to try it! it is soooooo good, and creates such an interesting little cookie.

here's how ours goes:

2 sticks butter, no subs
3 oz. cream cheese, neufchatel works and so does fat free
1 C. sugar
1 egg yolk
1 t. vanilla
2 1/4 C. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. baking powder

enjoy! would love to know what you think!

Bill said...

Debby, these cookies look so delicious. They're so simple and I think that's what makes them so yummy! Love the cookie press as well. Might have to invest in one myself! Thanks for a great post!

Pam said...

Love your cookies! My MIL was Swedish so she made them a lot and now I do. Still have the metal cookie press and another one but will check out the OXO. Thanks!

Debby Foodiewife said...

Jenn, thanks for the recipe. This is the one that's in the OXO recipe booklet, and I plan to try the cream cheese version, too!

Joanne said...

Oh my these are so cute!! I've yet to meet an OXO product I didn't love and I can't believe i've never seen this in stores! It's a need.

Tricia @ Saving room for dessert said...

I have had spritz cookies on my list for years! I even own a cookie press, but have never used it. These look fantastic and just the perfect amount of sweet buttery crispiness! Lovely, lovely blog - you and I are going to be great friends :)

Vera's Family said...

My grandma always served spritz cookies with coffee. These cookies do look amazing!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Even though I love all things chocolate, there is something to be said for cookies that are simply letting butter and sugar stand out. I love those tins of Danish butter cookies after all. These look so wonderful and I don't blame you one bit for eating raw cookie dough. I do it too and live to tell about it!

Roz Corieri Paige said...

Your spritz cookies bring back so many childhood Christmas memories! Somehow I'm in more of a Christmas baking mood this year, and you've nudged me further along with this delicious post Debby!

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl said...

I love the simplicity but delicious taste of these cookies, they sure are beautiful. Wishing I had a few right now to nibble on.

AdriBarr said...

Lovely! Spritz are one of my favorite cookies. While I am willing to be adventuresome, the basic butter, sugar and vanilla ones are my favorite version. I'll have to try your recipe.

I've got a great old press. I can't recall who made it offhand, but I have has it for well over thirty years, and it has served me well. I've used the method of forming the dough into a log since i was a kid, and I think it is the most efficient method of doing this.

It's time again to make Spritz cookies! Thanks for setting the mood! The only trouble, of course, is I eat them as they come out of the oven...