Cookie Press Cookies, or Spritz cookies as they are sometimes called, have been a Christmas cookie treat since the 1600’s. They are called “cookie press” because a press is used to form the cookies.
The word “spritz” comes from the German word “spritzen” which means “to squirt or spray”. The word describes the action of the cookie press, which “squirts” the dough through a die giving the cookie its shape.
If you’ve tried making spritz cookies without success in the past or if you’re new to them the following information will guide you to making these delicious Christmas treats.
Cookie Press Recipes
Most bakers that have had problems with their cookie press cookies are probably not at fault at all. More than likely it’s the recipe they were using.
Spritz cookie dough has to have some unique qualities. First of all the dough has to be soft enough that it will go through the press with no problems.
The fact that it has to be soft could present the second problem. It must hold it’s shape in the oven or it will lose its design.
On top of these two problems is that it has to taste good!
That eliminates some of the tricks some bakers’ use for shape holding like using shortening for the fat. For great cookie flavor butter should be the fat in Cookie Press Cookies!
This is a good basic recipe that will produce beautiful Christmas spritz cookies.
Basic Spritz Cookie Recipe
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened (about 70 degrees)
2/3 cup sugar (about 4-3/4 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces)
Adjust your oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees.
In small bowl, beat yolk, cream, and vanilla with fork until combined; set aside.
In stand mixer cream the butter, sugar, and salt at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula.
With the mixer running at medium speed, add the yolk and cream mixture and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl.
cake bars disposable With the mixer running at low speed gradually beat in the flour a little at a time until combined.
Scrape down the bowl and give a final stir with a rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain.
Load up your cookie press and press out the cookies spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart.
Bake one sheet at a time until the cookies are light golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time.
Cool the cookies on the baking sheet until just warm, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the cookies from the sheet with a metal spatula and transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
Some words of caution!
This cookie recipe works perfectly fine. However there are some variables that can’t be solved by a recipe. Those variables are in your own kitchen.
Oven thermostats are notoriously inaccurate! The temperature of your oven must be 375 degrees for the cookies to setup before the melting butter makes them spread.
If your cookies spread too much check your oven with an oven thermometer.
In addition to oven temperature the cookies will spread too much if you have whipped too much air into the dough. When you are creaming the butter and sugar be sure and not over whip.
Also combine the dry ingredients with the wet just until mixed thoroughly.
A warm cookie sheet will cause your cookies to spread excessively. Be sure your sheet is completely cooled before you do a second batch. You can pop it in the fridge for a few minutes if necessary.