Friday, May 7, 2010

SPRiTz CooKiEs!!

It was a rainy day and I was left home alone (i.e. I had the whole kitchen to myself) I thought I'd take the opportunity to try out my new cookie press.  Again adapted from my favorite baking book Goodhousing Keeping Great Baking, I made my spritz cookies like this:

  1. Beat at high speed 2 cups softened unsalted butter with 1 1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar until light and fluffy (color becomes pale).  Mix in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.
  2. Add 1/2 cup cornstarch and 3 1/2 cup flour and mix at slow speed, just until dough sticks together.
  3. The dough seemed dry and crumbly, so I added a few teaspoons of half-and-half cream - dough should be smooth and have a slight sheen to it.
  4. Spoon batter into cookie press and piped dough onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Top center of each cookie with quarter of a maraschino cherry or half a pecan.
  5. Bake on the middle rack of a preheated oven, 335 degrees F for 8 minutes - I had to lower the temperature and shorten the time because I was using a darker nonstick pan and 350 degrees F for 12 minutes resulted in burnt cookies >.<
  6. Remove from pan with wide spatula to cool on wire rack, bag when completely cooled.
With the extra little bit of dough that didn't want to come out from the press towards the end, I rolled it into a rope and shaped it into letters, and those turned out beautifully too!

I loved the cookie press with its sleek design and ease of use, although it was quite tricky to get the perfect shape - and the heart did not come out looking like a heart.  Once I got the hang of it though, I was churning out beautiful cookies faster than I ever thought possible.  This cookie press was definitely a good $20 investment.

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