Creating Spritz Cookies

Spritz Cookie Picture

 

Spritz are traditional Christmas cookies in Scandinavian countries. It's a simple butter cookie dough, that is put through a cookie press to give the cookies their shape. The press generally has interchangeable discs, so you can have different designs. A Norwegian tradition is to make them in shapes of S's and O's. The name comes from "spritzen," which is German for "to squirt or spray."

 

The secret lies in the dough, which should be neither too soft nor too firm. If it's too soft, the cookie will have no definition; if it's too firm, the cookie will bake too dry.

1. To achieve the right consistency use softened butter. This will require less mixing and less air will be incorporating into the dough. This way the dough will keep its shape during baking.

2. To test the dough's consistency before baking a batch, press a small amount of dough through the press cylinder. If the dough is too soft so that it doesn't go through cleanly, chill the dough for about 15 minutes. If the dough seems too firm, stir into the dough about 1 or 2 teaspoons whole milk.

3. Lastly, pressing the dough out onto cool, ungreased baking sheets makes it possible for each application to stick on contact. Then, when you lift the press, the dough remains on the baking sheet.

 

Cookie Press

SPRITZ COOKIES     (Makes about 6 dozen cookies)

Ingredients

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400° F. Refrigerated UNGREASED cookie sheets until ready to use. In a large bowl, mix butter until creamy. Gradually add sugar; cream until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well; stir in vanilla extract. Gradually add flour to mixture, beating well after each addition.

Pack the dough into a cookie press fitted with desired template (disks can include stars, trees, etc). Press cookie dough through cookie press, forming desired shapes, onto chilled ungreased cookie sheets about 1-inch apart.

NOTE: The first one or two sometimes are hard to start, but then it gets easier. When making pressed cookies, hold the press upright, and force out the dough until it appears at the edge of the mold--then lift the press away. The dough should be pliable. If dough becomes too soft, refrigerate dough about 5 minutes or until firm enough to hold its shape (the dough will crumble if it is too cold). Bake 6 to 9 minutes or until light brown. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. When cookies are completely cool, store airtight at room temperature for up to several days. Freeze for longer storage.

Variations:

Chocolate Spritz - Add 2 ounces melted unsweetened chocolate to powdered sugar mixture. Be sure the chocolate is cool before adding to mixture.

Orange Spritz - Add 1 tablespoon grated orange zest with dry ingredients.

Spritz Cookies                            Chocolate Dipped Spritz cookies

The enjoyment is not only in eating these cookies but also in mixing the spritz doughs to create a marble effect. For example, fill the press tube with a portion of Buttery Spritz dough along one length of the press cylinder, and a portion of Chocolate Spritz dough along the remaining length of the cylinder. Press out dough through a decorative disc onto baking sheets for an interesting marble design.

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