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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Spritz Cookies

It is the season of giving! Waking up to just one day more to Christmas and I am suddenly all so revved up and eager to get my hands at doing some last minute Christmas baking today. All planned for a light and easy day, I thought it probably is a good time to bring the cookie presser into the picture. My another first it sure is, and just like before I have not an idea of what to expect out of it. But cookie presser does wonders! When the clock is ticking fast and time running out, cookie presser is the way to go! Same amount of time, way more cookies cranked out compared to the manual scooping and shaping with hands or a pastry bag even. Plus you get an endless range of cookie shapes and decorating possibilities. As my first, I had the Christmas tree pattern, the snowman, the heart, the candy cane and the wreath, decorated with the basic most, some colored sprinkles - eye catching with such a festive feel.

Christmas tree
candy cane

With that, I made my first batch of spritz cookies with a recipe adapted from Rasa Malaysia. Plain cookies with a rich buttery texture and a slight hint of vanilla, they are tender crisp, definitely the kind that melts in your mouth the moment you pop them in. And Bee from Rasa Malaysia was right about these cookies - they are highly addictive indeed. The proof? A good one would be when I realized a piece missing each time my hubby made a round to the kitchen to check on me, or so he said lol. This recipe is a keep for sure. Making these was a baking experience made pleasant with an end-result that never a bit disappointing. 

Spritz Cookies
Makes about 100 cookies 
10oz unsalted butter, room temperature
3oz powdered sugar + 1 heaped tbsp granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
11oz all-purpose flour
4oz corn starch
3 tbsps milk powder (optional)
2 tbsps whole milk
holiday-themed sprinkles (or colored sugar or any other edible decorations)

1. With an electric mixer, cream the butter with sugar, egg yolk, salt and vanilla extract until fluffy. Add in the milk powder (if any) and milk. Mix well.
2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flours. Fold into the creamed butter in a few separate batches. Mix until the dough becomes soft and no longer sticks to hands.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Transfer the cookie dough into the cookie press. Ratchet out the dough onto the ungreased parchment paper. 
(I personally find that the first few will usually come slightly out of shape as the dough within the presser gets compressed more neatly together. Worry not about the messed up ones - have them returned to the starting dough and continue working with the rest of the dough in the cookie presser. With some practice, they will turn out great as it goes.)   
4. Top the cookies with some sprinkles and place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm up the dough prior to baking, maintaining their shape when put to bake later. 

5. Bake in the preheated oven for 13 to 14 minutes until the cookies start browning on the edges. Let cool on a cooling rack. Repeat with the rest of the dough until they are all used up. 
6. When the cookies have cooled enough, serve or have them packed away.

With cookies more than enough for just the two of us, I have some packed up as a little gift to some of our friends here. A simple homemade gift in a merry treat gift pail - they simply are too adorable to resist, are they not?  

 Have a blessed Merry Christmas!

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