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Spritz cookies only look fussy

  • Published Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, at 1:40 p.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, at 10:43 p.m.

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Vanilla Spritz Cookies

Makes 4 dozen

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place butter and sugar in mixing bowl. With the electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add egg, vanilla and salt; beat until thoroughly combined. Add flour and stir in with a spoon or the mixer on very low speed just until the flour is mixed in well.

Pack the dough into the cookie press. Fit with the desired disk design of your choice. Press dough through the cookie press onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing them about one inch apart. Sprinkle with colored sugar if desired.

Bake until lightly golden, about 10 to 12 minutes, in the preheated oven. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days. Cookies may be frozen as well.

Spritz cookies never held much interest for me. They are cute little cookies, with sprinkles of colored sugar. OK, I will confess – I have never made them. I always thought they were too fussy and would take way too much time. But I was wrong.

When I attended the Dallas Market a few weeks ago, one of the sales reps was touting spritz cookie presses. He was very persuasive, and primarily out of curiosity, I ordered a few – just to see if they were half as good as he implied.

This past week, my assistant decided she would test the cookie press and whipped up a batch of spritz cookies. She cranked out dozens of cookies in no time. Not only was it fast, those cookies were beautiful with so many designs – Christmas trees, wreaths, stars, flowers, pumpkins, snowmen and hearts.

But the real test came when I popped a beautifully shaped spritz into my mouth – wow! Its crisp, tender texture melted in my mouth with a burst of butter-vanilla favor. It was pure delight. I discovered spritz cookies are deliciously addictive. Before long, I had polished off more than I care to tell you. My thinking did a complete turnaround – spritz cookies soared right up to the top of my list of favorite cookies.

They may look like a fussy little cookie, but you can crank out a whole tray of cookies with one basic dough in a few minutes. And you can create many different shapes so your tray of cookies will look like you worked for hours. The dough is versatile; it can be adapted easily to lemon, spice, chocolate and a myriad of other flavors.

If you make holiday cookies, you are going to want this recipe. As you read the recipe, you may wonder how something with a few basic ingredients can be so good. All I can say is just try it – you’ll be delightfully surprised.

Bonnie Aeschliman is a certified culinary professional who owns Cooking at Bonnie’s Place in Wichita.

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