Friday, December 12, 2014

Recipe #38: My Grandmother's Spritz Cookies

When I wrote the article about Chris Kimball, Martha Stewart and Ina Garten, I mentioned my grandmother's spritz cookie recipe.   This is, bar none, the best spritz cookie you will ever make.  Now, that said, if you've been making spritz cookies your way for a number of years, you may not agree.  But, there are two things which makes this recipe different from any I have seen...instead of a whole egg, it takes an egg yolk (this I've seen in some recipes) and the flour used is not all-purpose, but cake flour, which produces a more tender cookie.  My mom also had a great cookie wasn't narrow like the ones they make today.  My kingdom for having the opportunity to take so much more stuff from our kitchen back in Niles when my mom died.   If you look at ebay, you will see what I'm talking about...the old Mirro cookie presses.   You could just pile the dough in, instead of having to roll it into a log and fitting it into a tube.   So, unless I invest in another one, I now just roll the dough into a log on parchment paper, refrigerate or freeze, cut them into slices like refrigerator cookies, then decorate.   I have done this a couple of times in the past years when visiting my brother's family.  He calls them "spritzer's".  I would make up a double batch, bake one, and surprise him by putting the other one in the freezer, ready to go.  The batch I made for the blog I used a cookie cutter, (see below).  I hope you do try this recipe, even if you just drop them by teaspoonfuls onto a cookie sheet (although they may be a little underdone in the middle).

2 sticks butter                                                      1 egg yolk
1/2 cup sugar                                                       1 tsp pure almond extract (plz do not compromise
2 cups cake flour                                                     this recipe using artificial almond extract)
1/4 tsp salt

Cream butter.  Add sugar and salt and beat until light.  Add egg yolk and almond extract.  Blend.  Combine flour with creamed mixture and mix to a smooth dough.  Press through a cookie press, or roll into a log on parchment paper and refrigerate or freeze until use, (see below).  Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.  For a chocolate dough, add 1 tbsp cocoa and mix thoroughly.  My mom would take half the dough out, then mix the cocoa into the other half of the dough.    Bon appetit!

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