Spritz cookies (Spritzgebäck) are a holiday favourite - fancy butter cookies in delightful shapes. What they don't tell you is that they're cheap and easy to make. Forget the expensive tins of butter cookies - Make your own!
For a one time investment of $15 - $20 a cookie press turns out beautiful shapes and adds a little kitchen magic to your baking routine. You can even buy seasonal cutter discs to keep things fresh.
1 cup (2 sticks or 250g) Butter
2 1/4 cups Plain Flour
1/2 cup Castor (Baker's) sugar
1 tspn Vanilla Essence
pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F)
- Soften the butter by leaving out of the fridge or microwaving for 15 seconds (no more!)
- Cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture looks pale
- Add the vanilla and the egg and whip into the butter mixture
- Add the flour and salt and mix until a crumbly dough is formed
- Form a sausage made of dough and feed into the tube of the cookie press
- Line a baking tray with paper or silicon then place your cookie press flat on the tray, pump the handle once to 'spritz' a cookie onto the tray. Some designs may require 2 pumps of the handle.
- Bake for 8 - 10 mins or until lightly browned around the edges
- Using a spatula carefully move these immediately to a cooling tray. The cookies are delicate while warm - never fear they will cool quickly and you can always eat any broken ones.
- Once cooled move to an airtight container or line a cookie tin with paper - this will prevent the cookies going stale.
- This recipe should make 2 - 3 trays of small cookies. For the Christmas season I will usually make a double batch.
- Once the cookie press is empty, refill and change the disc - this ensures a variety of shapes throughout your batch
- The key to good spritz cookies is the consistency of the dough - follow the recipe exactly and if you are making a double batch move half the dough to the refrigerator while you are working
- Make sure to clear the bottom of the press before placing again on the tray, sometimes the pressure from the cookie press will cause dough to 'ooze' between cookies and mess up the shape.
- It can take a little practice to get the shapes right. Don't be afraid to remove wonky cookie shapes from the tray and try again - you can always add the dough back to the bowl
- These are delicious plain but they're even better with sprinkles! Consider decorating with one of the following ideas:
- Add food colouring in seasonal colours to the egg/butter mix before adding the flour
- Glaze with egg wash and then sprinkle with coloured sugar before baking
- Push chocolate chips into the center of the cookies while still warm so that they melt onto the cookie
- Glue sugar pearls or sprinkles in holiday colours to baked cooled cookies with icing
- Dip in a sugar glaze or melted chocolate