Classic Spritz Christmas Cookies
It's clearly 'THAT' time of year and all across the nation, there is a demand for cookies – sometimes from little people, sometimes from big ones. In many homes, it seems, those cookies are either purchased in form of a package, they come from a freezer and need to be baked at home, or they come from the cooler aisle, neatly wrapped in plastic.
I have read the backs of these packages and was appalled by the list of ingredients. Why, in the world, would I ever feed this stuff to my kid? Why would I eat this myself? And what will Santa do if that is what I present him with?
With that in mind, it was clear that I needed to make my own cookies. Forget low calorie – it's the holidays and we all deserve to indulge a bit. Here, we go all out on flavor – and we don't skimp on butter, either.
I don't know what the calorie count of these cookies is – and, really, I don't think I want to know. What I do know is that you can't just eat one – you keep eating and eating. I made a variety of cookies simply by changing the toppings: Some were decorated, others were plain, a third batch was sprinkled with confectioner's sugar, and a fourth batch got a sprinkling of cinnamon. Of course, you can dip them in chocolate, cover them with frosting, or do whatever else you think should be done with cookies.
As you can see from the image, I am in no way, shape, or form a cookie artist. And I don't try to be. Making cookies with my daughter is fun, plain and simple. We don't really care about the cookies looking flawless - I neither have the patience nor the time to accomplish perfectly decorated individualized cookies. Well, and I am pretty sure that I don't have the necessary skills, either. Chances are that you are more like me in this respect than you are like those uber-moms and uber-dads with superior decorating skills. So, just go ahead, don't worry about it - and just have fun with your cookies. And with your kids, of course.
My personal favorite were the cinnamon-sprinkled cookies. They were delicious beyond belief and seemed to go really well with a glass of cold, fresh-squeezed orange juice.
These cookies are easy and quick to make and they do not have much to do with the packaged, bake-later “cookies” you can buy at the store. They are far superior in taste, for sure.
You will need a cookie press the make these cookies. Some people used electric one, but I prefer a manual one because it gives you more control over the amount of dough that gets squeezed onto the cookie sheet.
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups butter softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon no-color almond extract
In small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. I like to sift the flour to make sure that there are no hardened clumps.
In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric hand mixer until light and fluffy.
Add egg, milk, vanilla and almond extract.
Use your electric hand mixer to integrate all the ingredients.
Add flour/baking powder mixture gradually to butter mixture and mix until well combined.
Fill your cookie press with the dough, choose the desired pattern from your selection of disks and press cookies onto un-greased cookie sheet.
Bake 13-15 minutes or until edges of the cookies are light golden brown.
Cool on cooling rack.