Tomorrow is CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!! And these are the cookies I most associate with this wonderful holiday. I’ve been making them for more years than I can remember, and Christmas just wouldn’t seem the same without them. Although there are dozens of variations on the Swedish Spritz, this is my tried-and-true version. The recipe is simple, requiring no milk or leavening agent/s, and yields consistently excellent results. The only two requirements are use of an electric mixer and a cookie press. Because of the thickness of the dough, I strongly recommend using a heavy-duty stand mixer. People (I will not names names) have been known to burn through the motor on a hand mixer while trying to make these. As for the cookie press, I have used a couple different types over the years. Cookie presses are pretty inexpensive in general – averaging $20 or so – and definitely worth the investment if you enjoy spritz cookies as much as I do. My current cookie press is made by Wilton. It’s shaped like a gun with a handle trigger and works beautifully. Although spritz cookies have historically been flavored with almond extract (which is included here), I’ve had to exclude it over the years due to a family member’s food allergy. With or without it, these cookies are a little taste of Christmas.
Yields 7 dozen.
SODIUM CONTENT: 1 mg per cookie
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1 t. pure almond extract (optional)
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
colored sugar or sprinkles, for decorating
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and vanilla (and almond extract, if desired). Gradually add in the flour, mixing until combined.
Fill a cookie press with the dough, and squeeze cookies out onto an ungreased baking sheet. Decorate cookies with colored sugar or sprinkles. Place baking sheet on middle rack in oven and bake 5 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE! The edges should have the barest whisper of brown. Remove sheet from oven. Remove cookies from baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Repeat process with remaining dough. If dough seems to be getting a little too soft, simply chill for several minutes in the fridge before proceeding.
Store cooled cookies in an airtight container. These also freeze beautifully.