My seven-year-old daughter keeps asking me to tell her stories about my childhood. The story that intrigues her the most is the one about holiday baking with my grandma. Every December my sister and I would spend a day with our grandma and bake cookies all day. The highlight was making spritz butter cookies. First we used a cookie pressto turn the dough into fun shapes, then we decorated the cookies with different colored sprinkles. The cookies were served at holiday parties. We even made packages of cookies to give out as gifts.
So this year both my daughters really wanted to make spritz sprinkle cookies with me. They enjoyed picking out their favorite shapes for the cookie press, and they decorated their own sheet of cookies. They were proud of their work. Then my seven-year-old really wanted to come with me to deliver the cookies to my Food Bloggers Los Angeles (FBLA) cookie exchange. She was so excited that my fellow bloggers liked our cookies. So, my grandma's tradition of holiday baking with kids and sharing cookies continues.
Note on vintage baking recipes:
My recipe comes from my grandma and dates back to at least the 1950's. I think she used the recipe that came with her Mirro cookie press.In recent years I felt my spritz cookies were coming out too dense and a little bland. I did some research because I wanted to figure out if I needed to sift the flour or reduce the amount of it. According to the book The Art and Soul of Baking,many pre-1960's recipes give flour measurements for sifted flour. Since 1 cup of sifted flour weighs less than 1 cup of unsifted flour, I reasoned that I was using too much of it. Once I reduced the amount of flour, the cookies came out just right. They are lighter with a buttery flavor and are exactly like I remember them.
|Spritz Sprinkle Cookies: Grandma's Tradition Continues|| |
- 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature (8 ounces)
- ½ cup granulated white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
- Assorted sprinkles for decorating
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and position racks for two cookie sheets at a time. Use single layer, metal, ungreased cookie sheets, and do not use parchment or silpats.
- Fit a mixer with the paddle attachment. Cream the butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally using a rubber spatula.
- Break an egg into a measuring cup and stir in vanilla until the egg is lightly beaten. Pour the egg mixture into the mixer bowl and fully incorporate the egg starting on medium and moving to high.
- In a medium-sized bowl, measure the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder) and stir together with a spoon. Turn the mixer speed to low, and add the flour mixture in three, quick batches so that the flour does not fly up. Do not overmix, and stop the mixer as soon as the flour is just incorporated.
- Read the directions for your particular cookie press. Here are some general directions: Put the dough in a cookie press fitted with a disc shape of your choice. Place the press directly on a cool cookie sheet. Press the lever once to dispense the dough, and lift the press straight up. Continue filling a cookie sheet spacing the cookies about 1 inch apart. Change out the disc shape as you like. If a cookie comes out misshaped, scrape it off with a spatula and reuse the dough. Sometimes it takes a little practice to get the hang of the press. When the sheet is full, decorate with an assortment of sprinkles.
- Bake one or two sheets of cookies at a time in a 375 degree F oven until the cookies have the slightest hint of golden brown at the edges and bottoms. These cookies do not brown. About 8-11 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and leave the cookies on the sheet for a couple minutes. Then using a spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack to cool. These cookies keep in a cookie tin unrefrigerated for at least 3 days. They can be frozen.
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