Saturday, February 25, 2012

Spritz, Page 119, 2nd Column, 2nd Recipe Down

I’ve gotten a little behind in my cookie blogging, so I’m going to do my most recent cookie and work my way back.  So this week it’s Spritz!

I’ve made Spritz before, but not from this recipe, so fortunately I had a cookie press.

My cookie press in its original box!
First the archeology:  Spritz is in my 1976 cook book, and all future editions I have. As it turns out, it is not in the two older versions I have from 1953 and 1936.  All versions of the recipe beyond my 1976 cook book have ½ cup less flour as the only real change.  

The closest recipe on is Swedish Spritz (without the frosting) but this recipe is more like the more recent versions in the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book with less flour than the one I’m doing here.

The dough is pretty simple, the usual cream butter and sugar, then add other wet ingredients, then add in the dry ingredients.
Creamed butter and sugar.
The result is a dough very like sugar cookie dough, but with the warning not to chill it because it will be used in the press.  I should have taken pictures of loading the press, but basically it’s like filling a caulking gun.

The finished Spritz dough.
The main trick with Spritz is patience when extruding the cookies onto the cookie sheet.  My old cookie press from the 70s only had a screw mechanism to squeeze out the cookies, this made for very inconsistent cookies.  But the one I have now is nice, one squeeze of the trigger is one cookie and it’s very consistent.  It has a nice ratchet mechanism so there is a distinct ‘click’ when you’ve squeezed the handle all the way.
Spritz cookies extruded onto the cookie sheet.
But here’s the trick.  Once you squeeze the trigger, wait a few moments, don’t lift the press right away.  The dough doesn’t all come out instantly, the pressure you’ve introduced inside takes a few moments to finish causing dough to come out.  If you lift too soon, the cookie isn’t complete and dough will continue to come out as you lift the press.  You get an incomplete cookie, and more dough falling back on the sheet unshaped.
A batch of Spritz cookies freshly baked.
Although I tend to avoid gadgets, the nice thing with a cookie press is getting the cookies on the sheet and evenly spaced is a breeze.  I had over 100 spritz cookies in short order, and the cooking time is nice and short at 9 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  The whole process is much, much easier than rolled sugar cookies!

These are cookies that are better cooled and crispy rather then fresh from the oven. I’ll be bringing them all to work on Monday, so I hope they like them!
Spritz cookies ready to eat!
Lessons Learned:

Don’t use the pasta plate to make cookies.  The result is not good.  I had discs for multiple cookie shapes, and my son saw one disc with a very sparse pattern of holes.  He wanted to know what it would produce.  I had misgivings, I sensed it wasn’t meant for cookies, but decided to give it a shot.  The result was quite pathetic.  A cluster of nubs of dough that was barely touching.  Afterwards when I read over the booklet I found out that the plate was meant for extruding pasta into boiling water!

I think some of the cookies came out a little uneven from the press due to variations in the denseness of the dough.  The later versions of the recipe all have ½ cup less flour.  Maybe that’s the way to go?  At a minimum, perhaps I need to mix it longer.

Maybe increase cooking time to 10 minutes for even more crispiness and maybe a little browning would be an improvement.